A new Alabama law adopted Tuesday now requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges in hospitals, joining North Dakota, Mississippi, and Tennessee in the latest trend of using the stipulation to limit access to abortion. Critics say the law is designed to force the closure of the state’s five abortion clinics. Some clinics rely on out-of-state doctors, who will now be prohibited from performing abortions.
Another clause in the bill requires clinics to adhere to the building, equipment, and staffing standards of ambulatory surgery centers, a regulation that would require clinics to needlessly upgrade their facilities to the tune of millions.
Critics say these laws are designed to de facto ban abortion in states, by making it impossible for clinics to keep their doors open without drawing the ire and attention that proposals to ban abortion usually garner. Supporters say they protect women’s health.
Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough says he thinks states have the right to pass “reasonable regulations” on its clinics.
“This will go up to the courts. You look at North Dakota now, it’s legislature in North Dakota over the years has restricted abortion to a point that it’s extremely hard to get an abortion,” he said. “It’ll be fascinating when it gets to the Supreme Court because it seems to me a state has the right, this is my opinion and I know a lot of pro-choice people will attack me for saying this–I think they have a right to regulate abortion clinics. If you’re going to have a doctor performing this procedure, they at least have to be admitted to a hospital somewhere in the state.”
Watch the full discussion here: