Senate Committee Approves Texas-Like Abortion Bill
Senate lawmakers moved forward with new legislation laying out new medical standards for abortion clinics Thursday despite an ongoing Supreme Court review of similar provisions in a Texas bill.
Under Senate Bill 212, which passed out of committee, freestanding abortion clinics must meet the same checklist of facility and personnel requirements as ambulatory surgery centers. House Speaker Greg Stumbo said the opposing chamber would be wise to put the brakes on the bill for now.
"I think it would be prudent to wait and see what the court does on that, but as long as [legislation] meets constitutional muster, that's the difference probably the way the issue is viewed in the House and the Senate," the Prestonsburg Democrat told reporters. "In the Senate, they don' really seem to mind what the constitution says."
Backers say the more stringent standards protect women's health while opponents see a thinly-veiled attempt to force more clinics to close their doors. It's a debate that virtually mirrors the high court discussions over the Texas provisions.
Republican Senate President Robert Stivers attributes the heightened debate over abortion to shifting public opinion and a new generation of activists.
"I think you're seeing a lot more younger people who generally in the past had not been anti-abortion now are anti-abortion," he said.
The bill is predicted to sail through the Senate.