The Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed new legislation yesterday that would require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges to a local hospital within thirty miles. The bill was proposed by Senator Larry Taylor (R) of Galveston.
“Requiring hospitals to credential and grant privileges to doctors who provide outpatient services is time consuming and expensive for the hospital,” said Stacy Wilson, a representative of the Texas Hospital Association. A potential issue with the legislature is that many hospitals have a religious affiliation and would not grant admitting privileges to doctors who perform abortions.
Similar TRAP (Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers) laws requiring hospital admitting privileges have been passed in Mississippi and Alabama. The bill in Alabama was signed into law by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley last week. In Mississippi, the sole abortion clinic in the state has been trying to gain admitting privileges at local area hospitals to comply with a 2012 law, but has been denied by every hospital within a 30 mile radius. The state was trying to close the clinic when a federal judge extended a temporary injunction that prevents the state from closing the clinic until the constitutionality of the law can be determined in a current pending lawsuit against the state of Mississippi.