ALABAMA'S Women’s Health and Safety Act sounds innocuous enough. The new law, which takes effect July 1st, requires doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. This will protect women and make abortions safer, claims the state attorney general's office. Actually, this is bunk. In fact the law will simply force several abortion clinics to close, as it is practically impossible for the doctors on staff to gain the relevant privileges, owing to either residency requirements (most doctors travel from out of state and work one or two days a week) or hospital prejudice (few care to be associated with abortion providers). Fewer clinics—along with other barriers to access—will only serve to make the procedure less safe, by creating longer wait times and potentially forcing women to delay abortions until later in their pregnancies.
Planned Parenthood, an abortion provider, filed a lawsuit against the state last year contending the law would force clinics in the state’s three biggest cities to close. Critics of the law say it conflicts with the Supreme Court’s 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v....Continue reading