The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

March 6, 2013

Stricter abortion standards for state moving ahead

— MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A bill setting stricter standards for Alabama's five abortion clinics is getting closer to becoming law.

The Senate Health Committee approved the bill 7-3 Wednesday. The yes votes all came from Republicans and the no votes from two Democrats and an independent. The bill has already passed the House and now goes to the Senate for a vote. Republican Gov. Robert Bentley said Tuesday he will sign the bill into law if the Legislature passes it.

The bill requires abortion clinics to use doctors who have approval to admit patients to hospitals in the same city. It also sets stricter building standards.

The sponsor, Republican Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin, says it will make clinics safer. Opponents say it's designed to close clinics because most don't meet the standards now.

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