Stricter regulations would enhance safety
Both sides of Alabama's abortion debate are unhappy with proposed rules that would require abortion clinics in the state to have a physician on staff who is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and who has admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic.
Abortion foes say the measure, proposed by the state Department of Public Health, do not go far enough. They want abortions outlawed altogether.
Pro-choice advocates say the requirement will lead to fewer clinics and thus a return to the days of back-alley abortions.
The truth is that the proposed rule is reasonable and will likely make abortions safer at responsible clinics and will force irresponsible ones — and even one of those is too many — to improve safety or get out of business.
Too often, emergency room physicians report, women with complications report to emergency rooms, but when clinics are contacted they refuse to provide details of the procedure, including the name of the doctor who performed it.
President Clinton said abortions should be "legal, safe and rare."
The regulations proposed by the Department of Public Health would enhance safety and should be adopted.