Ala. House committee approves 2 abortion bills

Published: May. 2, 2012 at 7:23 PM CDT|Updated: May. 2, 2012 at 9:53 PM CDT
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Pro-choice advocates in a Senate Committee who are against the “Personhood” bill.
Pro-choice advocates in a Senate Committee who are against the “Personhood” bill.

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Two bills aimed at making it more difficult for a woman to get an abortion have passed an Alabama House committee. A public hearing was held in a Senate committee, but no vote was taken on another bill that is seen as a step toward banning abortion all together.

The House Health committee approved on a voice vote Wednesday a bill to allow the state to opt out of providing health insurance for abortions under provisions of the new federal health care law.

The committee also approved a bill that establishes new rules for abortion clinics.

The Senate Health Committee held a public hearing Wednesday on a bill by Republican Sen. Phil Williams of Rainbow City that says life begins upon fertilization of an egg and implantation in the womb. The proposal is also known as the "Personhood" bill.

Proponents say it could save life because it would fundamentally change some laws in the state when it comes to abortion and reproductive rights. In theory, a woman who decided to have an abortion could be charged with murder.

Opponents to the legislation say the law goes way too far in attempting to curb abortions and they intrude on women's rights. They have also raised concerns about the impact on in-vitro fertilization which leads to some fertilized eggs not surviving the procedure. Under the law, some of those individuals could be charged with a crime as well.

Copyright 2012  WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved. The Associate Press contributed.