Alabama Introduces Another Anti-Abortion Bill, Calls Fetus "Largest Organ in a Woman's Body"

Republican Alabama State Representative Mary Sue McClurkin is pushing legislation that will target abortion providers with medically unnecessary regulations, often known as a TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) bill. Why should legislators waste time and money on another anti-abortion bill, especially as Alabama’s neighbor Mississippi wages a litigation battle to defend their own TRAP bill?

In an interview on Thursday, McClurkin explained her reasoning.

"When a physician removes a child from a woman, that is the largest organ in a body. That's a big thing. That's a big surgery. You don't have any other organs in your body that are bigger than that."

Um ... what?

Fetuses are not bodily organs.

This is just the latest of many, many, many examples of legislators pretending to be doctors. Democratic Alabama Representative Patricia Todd put it best when she said, "They're drafting a bill on a subject they have no knowledge of. They've never been in a clinic. They don't know what the regulations are."

The proposed bill would require women’s health clinics that provide abortion care to follow standards applied to ambulatory health care facilities, modifications that can cost many clinics thousands of dollars to comply with. It also requires physicians who provide abortion care to obtain admitting privileges to a local hospital, privileges hospitals are not required to give even if the candidate is qualified. In Mississippi, physicians from the state’s only abortion clinic were refused admitting privileges by seven local hospitals, and thus have been unable to comply with the state’s TRAP law.

Regardless of the bill sponsor’s lack of actual medical knowledge, the law is expected to pass. The Alabama House will likely debate the bill today.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Alison Tanner

Alison is a recent graduate of the University of California - Davis, where she studied political science and women's studies and served the student body as an ASUCD Senator. She is currently a legal assistant for the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project. Views expressed here are her own.

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