Alabama Admitting Privileges Law Blocked Until Next Year

A temporary restraining order that blocks an Alabama admitting privileges law from taking effect will be extended to March 24, 2014.

Last month, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson blocked HB 57, which imposes new regulations on clinics in the state, including a provision that requires every physician at an abortion clinic to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. The targeted regulation of abortion provider (TRAP) law is similar to one passed in Mississippi that has threatened to close the state’s sole remaining abortion clinic. Meanwhile, doctors and leading medical groups, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, have come out in opposition of such requirements because they are unnecessary for the provision of safe, high-quality health care, and because they prevent women from getting necessary services. Alabama law does not require doctors providing surgery at other health centers to have admitting privileges, even for more complicated procedures.

According to reports, the extended order was a result of an agreement between advocates challenging the law and attorneys for the state of Alabama. Both sides told the court that they don’t see prospects for settling the case, which means a trial over the admitting privileges provision would take place in early 2014.

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