Tuesday, anti-choice activists in the state of Alabama were complaining about the looming end of the session and their dwindling hopes of passing new restrictions on safe abortion care even in a Republican-dominated legislature. The problem? The chairman of the committee reviewing their bills wanted to stop having meetings and start re-drawing district maps instead.
The Times Daily reports:
Eric Johnston, president of the Alabama Pro-Life Coalition, said the problem stems from the chairman of the House Health Committee, Republican Rep. Jim McClendon of Springville, deciding that he won’t hold any more committee meetings before the legislative session ends. ”It’s created a big problem for us. We need him to meet again,” Johnston said.
But what a difference a day makes. Suddenly, anti-choice legislation is being rammed through committee and heading to the floor for a vote. Two bills are in play. One would deny insurance coverage for abortion care in the state exchange to be created under the Affordable Care Act. The other is a TRAP law requiring that doctors providing abortions have admitting privileges at a local hospital, a new requirement that a doctor perform an ultrasound in person before terminating a pregnancy, and a new rule stating only a physician can provide the medicines in a medication abortion.
Not voted on? A fertilized-egg-as-person bill, which was heard in committee but did not move through, although the bill’s sponsor vowed to return next year if necessary.
I guess that’s one way to play catch up.