Gov. Bentley signs Women's Health and Safety Act

Governor Robert Bentley signing the Women's Health and Safety Act on Tuesday. (Courtesy of Gov. Bentley's Office)

Governor Robert Bentley signed the Women's Health and Safety Act Tuesday morning.{} It is a measure that will improve and strengthen the standards of care at women's clinics in Alabama.{} The governor says it means a lot to him personally to make this law official."As a physician, and as a governor, I am proud to sign this legislation," Governor Bentley said.{} "This bill provides appropriate standards of care.{} It has been endorsed by pro-life groups across Alabama.{} This is a key piece of legislation in the House Republican Agenda, and I am honored to stand with legislative leaders and sign this bill."The bill sponsor, Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey, joined the governor and other legislative leaders at the State Capitol.{} Ivey said, "We can't ban abortion.{} That's a federal issue that's been confirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court-but at the state level, we can regulate and control unsafe health practices.{} I support the Legislature's efforts to restrict the operation of unsafe clinics to help ensure a woman's health."The Women's Health and Safety Act will require clinics that provide abortions to meet the same facility standards as ambulatory care centers.{} The legislation also calls for doctors who provide abortions to adhere to stronger standards, including having admitting privileges at local hospitals.{} The Women's Health and Safety Act also includes strong enforcement procedures for doctors or clinics that fail to comply with the new health and safety standards.