Abortion legislation sent to Alabama governor

Story highlights

  • Gov. Robert Bentley is "inclined" to sign legislation, spokesman says
  • House Republican caucus bill would toughen standards for abortion centers
  • Doctors would ask girls seeking abortions under age 16 about who is the father
  • But the girls would be able to refuse to answer
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is expected to sign a bill passed by the Legislature that would toughen standards for abortion clinics and make it a felony for anyone other than a physician to perform an abortion, a spokesman said Wednesday.
The bill would require doctors at the clinics to ask pregnant minors seeking an abortion under age 16 about who's the father, according to a summary of the legislation provided by House Speaker Mike Hubbard's office.
The pregnant minor would be able to refuse to give the father's name and age, the proposed law says.
If the girl provides the name and the father is two or more years older than the girl, the facility would have to report the pregnant girl and father to police, the legislation says. The legislation is designed to prevent abuse.
Abortion centers would have to substantially raise their standards of treatment and care to those of emergency health care centers, state House Republican lawmakers said in a statement.
The bill is the centerpiece of the "We Dare Defend Our Right to Life" section of the House Republican caucus' 2013 legislative agenda.
Bentley "will be inclined to sign the bill," called the Women's Health and Safety Act, said spokesman Jeremy King. "The governor is in support of the standards in the bill and I expect he will sign it."
House Republicans portrayed the measure as providing women seeking abortions with "new and important medical safeguards," according to its website.
The Senate approved the measure 22-10 and the House concurred 68-21 late Tuesday evening, said Rachel Adams, spokeswoman for Hubbard, a Republican.
"With passage of this much needed measure, Republicans boldly defended the rights of the unborn and courageously safeguarded the health and safety of Alabama women," Hubbard said in a statement. "Though I am completely opposed to legalized abortion, the U.S. Supreme Court unfortunately allows it to remain the law of the land, but with the passage of this legislation, we are doing everything we can to ensure the procedure is performed in a safe and healthy environment."