No vote on bill to bar abortion clinics near public schools

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Lawmakers on Wednesday declined to vote on three controversial proposals on abortion, including a proposal introduced last week to bar abortion clinics within 2,000 feet of a public school.

The bill is sponsored by state Rep. Ed Henry and was introduced last week, sparking a heated debate over whether children should be shielded from clashes between pro-life and pro-choice advocates.

Bob Beecher, an assistant district attorney from Huntsville spoke to the panel of lawmakers as a concerned parent.

“There’s antagonistic behavior between these two groups and it’s never going to end,” he said. “They can have their clinic someplace else, just not right across from children of that age.”

Others pointed out the history of violent acts by both sides near  abortion clinics. Community member Cindy Adams said, “It’s the government’s job to ensure children’s safety while they attend public schools. […] If abortion providers fear for their safety and the safety of their own children, shouldn’t we be concerned about the safety of children going to school?”

Clinic advocates pointed to another potential solution: establishing a “bubble” around abortion clinics to separate the two groups and diminish the possibility of conflict.

The House Health Committee had also been slated to vote on the Fetal Heartbeat Act and the Healthcare Rights of Conscience Act.

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