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Alabama Lawmakers Want to Treat Abortion Clinics Like Sex Offenders

The bill's sponsor compared abortion clinics to pedophiles and liquor stores, and wants them far away from kids.
May 6, 2016, 6:00pm

Photo via Flickr user Jay Williams

Read: It's Still Shockingly Hard to Get an Abortion in Much of America

Alabama state legislators cleared a bill Wednesday that forbids abortion clinics from operating near elementary and middle schools, as the Associated Press reported.

Senate Bill 205 prevents the Department of Public Health from issuing or renewing clinic licenses within 2,000 feet of K-8 schools, allegedly for the safety of students.

If Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signs the bill, two clinics—including a Huntsville clinic that provides reproductive care for women in northern Alabama—will be forced to switch locations. In 2014, the two clinics combined performed 5,927 abortions, some 72 percent of the 8,080 abortions in the state, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Alabama State Senator Paul Sanford, a sponsor of the bill, has no qualms about likening the new law to restrictions placed on sex offenders, telling the Times Daily in February, "We can put a restriction on whether a liquor store opens up across the street and make sure pedophiles stay away from schools.

"I just think having an abortion clinic that close to elementary-age school children that actually have to walk on the sidewalk past it is not the best thing," he added.

A separate bill passed the assembly Wednesday that, if signed, would ban second-trimester abortions.