(AP) – An Alabama Senate committee voted to approve a bill that would ban abortion clinics within 2,000 feet of public schools.
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday voted 6-1 in favor of the bill after a public hearing.
Clinics within 2,000 feet of K-12 schools will not be allowed to renew licenses or receive a new license under the bill.
Opponents say the legislation is unconstitutional. Vice President of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood Southeast Nikema Williams said in April the restriction would close nearly every abortion clinic in the state. Williams calls the bill one of the “sneaky maneuvers” to restrict access to abortion.
“Yet again, politicians in Montgomery are playing politics with women’s lives. Since it would be unconstitutional to ban abortion outright, politicians try sneaky maneuvers like this to take away a woman’s right to make personal, private medical decisions,” Williams said.
Proponents say out of the five clinics in the state, the bill will only force one abortion clinic in Huntsville to close or move. Supporters also add having a clinic within sight of a school exposes children to adult matters at a young age.
Republican bill sponsor State Senator Paul Sanford says threats of litigation are unfounded and that he wouldn’t sponsor the bill if it were unconstitutional.