A survey of abortion clinics in the United States has concluded that a record number of 87 surgical abortion clinics closed in 2013.
The survey, conducted by pro-life organization Operation Rescue, found that the total number of surgical abortion clinics remaining in the United States is now 582, a twelve percent decrease in surgical abortion clinics in 2013 alone, and a 73 percent drop from a 1991 high of 2,176.
According to Operation Rescue, of the 87 clinics that discontinued surgical abortions, 81 are permanently closed, while six stopped performing surgical abortions but continued the sale of abortion-inducing drugs. The data does not include the eleven abortion clinics that were temporarily closed this year, but later reopened.
The number of clinics that only perform abortion via drugs remained fairly constant at 176, with six documented closures.
Texas is the state with the most closures of surgical abortion clinics – a total of eleven – following the passage of an abortion law earlier in the year. New abortion clinic safety regulations accounted for closures in Pennsylvania and Maryland as well.
The House Tuesday passed a bill that would ban most abortions nationwide after 20 weeks. The most far-reaching abortion legislation in the House in a decade, it was passed 228-196, mostly along party lines.
With Republicans supporting it and Democrats opposed, a House committee has passed a bill that would ban abortions nationwide at 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Much of the debate focused on amendments by Democrats who hoped to gut the bill and allow late-term abortions in cases of rape and incest, or to protect a woman’s health.
The committee passed the bill on a 20-12 vote and the measure now heads to the full House floor where it is expected to receive a debate and vote next week.
A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked Mississippi from revoking the license of the state’s only abortion clinic.
U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III extended an injunction he issued several months ago, which blocks the state from closing the clinic while it tries to fulfill a 2012 state law.
The law requires all OB-GYNs who do abortions at Jackson Women’s Health Organization to have privileges to admit patients to a local hospital.
North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed into law a measure that outlaws abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on the premise that at that point a fetus can feel pain.
Dalrymple already has signed a law that bans abortion as early as six weeks, or when a fetal heartbeat is detected, making North Dakota the most restrictive state in the nation in which to get the procedure. The laws are not yet in force and are likely to face court challenges.
Kansas legislators gave final passage to a sweeping pro-life measure Friday night, sending Gov. Sam Brownback a bill that declares life begins at fertilization while blocking tax breaks for abortion providers and banning abortions performed solely because of the baby’s sex.
The House voted 90-30 for a compromise version of the bill reconciling differences between the two chambers, only hours after the Senate approved it, 28-10. The Republican governor is a strong abortion opponent, and supporters of the measure expect him to sign it into law so that the new restrictions take effect July 1.
In addition to the bans on tax breaks and sex-selection abortions, the bill prohibits abortion providers from being involved in public school sex education classes and spells out in more detail what information doctors must provide to patients seeking abortions.
Source: USA Today
Alabama lawmakers late Tuesday gave final passage to a measure placing stricter regulations on clinics that provide abortions.
The state House voted 68-21 to give final passage to the Womens Health and Safety Act. The vote came hours after the state Senate voted 20-10 to approve the bill after amending the measure to require clinics to tell patients what medications they had received.
The votes in the GOP-led legislature, mostly along partly lines, send the measure to Republican Gov. Robert Bentley, who backs the legislation.
The bill requires abortion clinics to use doctors who have approval to admit patients to hospitals in the same city. Some clinics now use doctors from other cities that don’t have local hospital privileges. A similar law in Mississippi is threatening to close that states only abortion clinic, which is challenging the law in court.
The bill also sets stricter building requirements, including wider halls and doors and better fire suppression systems. The state Department of Public Health, which regulates Alabama’s five abortion clinics, reports that most will not meet the stricter standards.
Under the bill, abortion clinics will be required to ask any girl under age 16 the name and age of the person who got her pregnant. She doesn’t have to answer. If she does answer and the father is more than two years older, the clinic must report that to police for investigation of a possible sex crime. If the girl is younger than 14, the clinic must report her name to the state Department of Human Resources for review.
A bill headed to Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant says a physician would have to be present when a woman takes abortion-inducing drugs.
Senate Bill 2795 also says the woman would have to return to the doctor’s office two weeks later for a follow-up examination.
The Senate passed the final version of the bill 46-6 on Wednesday. The House passed it 84-30 Friday.
If the governor signs the bill, it would become law July 1.
Source: The San Francisco Chronicle
Michigan abortion clinics will need a state license and must check to make sure women are not being bullied or pressured into getting an abortion under a new law that took effect Sunday.
Other regulations make clearer the proper disposal of fetal remains, after anti-abortion advocates expressed concern some were not disposed of with dignity.
A more contentious call to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy was dropped from the legislation last year and never went further than the floor of the GOP-controlled House.
Of Michigans 32 clinics that offer surgical abortions, four have licenses. The state estimates 16 more abortion providers need to be licensed as freestanding outpatient surgical facilities under the law because they perform at least 120 abortions a year. Licensure brings annual inspections and a $238 yearly fee, though facilities can avoid licensure if they stop publicly advertising abortion services.
Existing abortion providers also can seek waivers from construction or equipment upgrades mandated for outpatient offices.
Source: CBS Detroit
Mississippi lawmakers are likely to approve a bill requiring a doctor to personally oversee the administration of abortion-inducing drugs and requiring the woman to return for a follow-up exam two weeks later.
The House voted 84-30 Friday to approve a House-Senate compromise on Senate Bill 2795. If the Senate approves, it would go to Gov. Phil Bryant for his signature.
The bill would bar physicians from prescribing the drugs remotely after consulting a patient by teleconference. Pro-lifers have said they knew of no such telemedicine abortions being conducted in Mississippi, but wanted to guard against the practice.