Alabama bill regulating “WebCam” abortions on way to Governor’s desk for signature

By Dave Andrusko

Jackie_-_Silent_no_moreAlabama continues to solidify its reputation as a pro-life state with passage of the Women’s Health and Safety Act. On Tuesday the House passed  HB57 by a vote 68-21. Hours before, the Senate voted 22-10 in favor. The bill now is on its way to Gov. Robert Bentley for his signature.

In the first few days of the 2013 Alabama session House Speaker Mike Hubbard made it a priority to pass HB57. Scott Beason championed the bill in the Senate which underwent more than five hours of filibuster before final passage. Pro-life Senate minority leader Sen. Rodger Beford (D) crossed the aisle to join with his Republican colleagues to pass this common sense legislation.

“We are grateful for the Leadership of Sen. Jabo Waggonner who took this matter seriously by placing it at the top of the ‘Special Order’ calendar,” said Cheryl Ciamarra,  Alabama Citizens for life Legislative Director.

There are important protections in HB57. One of them addresses so-called “webcam” abortions. The bill requires “the physician giving, selling, dispensing, administering, or otherwise providing or prescribing the abortion-inducing drug must first examine the pregnant woman in person.”

In a webcam abortion, the abortionist can be hundreds of miles away from the woman, communicating via video conferencing. He pushes a button and a cabinet opens in front of the pregnant woman. Inside are the two-drugs that make up the RU-486 abortion technique.

HB57 also requires that the abortionist have admitting privileges at a local hospital. That way if/when complications arise, he can go with the woman to a nearby hospital.

The law also requires improved standards for the state’s five abortion clinics, a glaring omission in many places, including West Philadelphia where abortionist Kermit Gosnell is on trial for eight counts of murder.

Mary Spaulding Balch, JD, NRLC’s director of State Legislation, told NRL News today why Gov. Bentley should sign this important piece of legislation:

“It would prevent abortion businesses such as Planned Parenthood from implementing their web-cam abortion plans for Alabama. Under such a plan a woman has only a brief teleconference with the abortionist and places herself in great peril. If she unknowingly has an ectopic pregnancy and it ruptures; if she comes down with a virulent infection; if she starts to hemorrhage – as hundreds of RU-486 patients have – her doctor could be hundreds of miles away. This is not good medicine, it is not good for women, and it is not good for Alabama.”

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