Anti-choice Republicans in Alabama are inching closer toward successfully forcing the state’s five remaining abortion clinics to close their doors. On Tuesday, the Alabama House of Representatives approved a bill that would impose complicated, unnecessary restrictions on abortion providers — the exact same type of restriction that is threatening to close Mississippi’s last abortion clinic.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Mary Sue McCurkin (R), claims the measure is “truly is a women’s rights bill” because it “protects the right of women having an abortion to have it in a healthy, safe environment.”
But that’s a standard obfuscation in the anti-abortion community. In fact, under the guise of being concerned about women’s safety, anti-choice lawmakers indirectly restrict women’s reproductive rights by subjecting abortion clinics and doctors to burdensome requirements that aren’t placed on other medical professionals. “Ever since we legalized abortion in 1973, there have always been attempts to restrict access to women by overregulation,” Alabama Rep. Patricia Todd (D), who opposes the proposed bill, pointed out during the debate on the House floor.
After three hours of debate, however, the bill ultimately passed by a 73-23 vote. The legislation now heads to the GOP-controlled Senate.