An Alabama judge recently sided with abortion clinics on Friday, March 25, by overturning a law which, had it gone into effect, would have required the clinics to possess emergency hospital admitting privileges for complications arisen from abortions.
The law was ruled unconstitutional because it would “impose a substantial obstacle to a woman’s choice to undergo an abortion,” said U.S. District Judge Mryon Thompson.
The ruling comes at a desperate time for Alabama, where over two million residents are living without access to a primary care physician, and healthcare is increasingly becoming a luxury commodity across the state.
Alabama officials and experts across the healthcare industry seem to be taking a stand at the oft religion-fueled opposition to modern day women’s healthcare practices in areas across the state.
Just last week, Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed (R-Jasper) passed legislation in the Alabama Senate (SB227) that aims to establish a loan repayment program for students pursuing graduate degrees in nursing or other healthcare fields.
The reasoning backs up the opinions of experts, who say that Alabama is one of the most opportune places for doctors to open up a practice — because there aren’t many of them around.
This is in stark contrast to the rest of the nation, where facilities like doctor’s offices, urgent care facilities, and hospitals are burgeoning and even expanding their operations.
Across the United States, there are roughly two healthcare clinics opening every single day, and the growth itself may continue to rise. At that rate, there will be more than 15,000 urgent care centers in the U.S. by 2019.
In the meantime, the women’s health movement in Alabama certainly leaves some things to be desired in comparison to other areas of the country. Inspections by the Alabama Department of Health found that one clinic didn’t even partake in basic hand-washing.
The new legislation, however, could change things and aims to bring more medical professionals to the area as well as increase awareness of medical issues across the state.
“SB227 will play an integral part in providing much-needed nurses to the areas of our state where nurses are desperately needed,” said Governor Robert Bentley.