March 7, 2013 — Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) said at a recent antiabortion-rights rally that he would sign a bill (HB 57) to more strictly regulate abortion clinics if it passes the Senate, the AP/Chattanooga Times Free Press reports (Rawls, AP/Chattanooga Times Free Press, 3/5).
The measure, approved by the House last month, would require that abortion providers obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals and that abortion clinics meet the same building standards as ambulatory clinics. In addition, the measure would prohibit anyone other than a physician from dispensing medication abortion drugs, with penalties of up to 10 years in prison and a $15,000 fine for providers violating the requirement (Women's Health Policy Report, 2/21). The Senate could consider the bill as early as next week.
"I can assure you, if [the bill] comes to me, I will sign it," Bentley said, adding, "We need to remember we are dealing with human life and this is what God expects us to do."
Opponents of the measure said it is intended to close most of the state's five clinics (AP/Chattanooga Times Free Press, 3/5).