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Abortion bills could impact state finances

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In early March, the House passed four abortion bills. (Photo: MGN Online) In early March, the House passed four abortion bills. (Photo: MGN Online)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WAFF) -

With just three days left in the 2014 Alabama legislative session, Alabama lawmakers will get back to work Tuesday after a week long break. For the Senate, the day will include discussions about several abortion bills.

In early March, the House passed four abortion bills. Before lawmakers went on break, the Senate Health Committee looked over the bills. Fiscal reports from an analyst showed how the state will both make and lose money under the potential bills.

HB490 would prohibit abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected. In the fiscal notes about this bill, the analyst wrote, "House Bill 490 as passed the House could increase receipts to the State General Fund from fines, increase receipts to the State General Fund, county general funds, and other funds to which court costs are deposited; and could increase the obligations the Department of Corrections, and the Board of Pardons and Paroles by an amount dependent upon the number of persons convicted of the offenses provided for in this bill and the penalties given.

"This bill could also increase the obligations of the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners for the revocation of licenses and/or additional disciplinary actions which may be levied on physicians who violate the provisions of this bill. The increase in obligations may be offset in total or in part from reinstatement fees that physicians may be required by the board prior to the licensure reinstatement."

HB489 would increase the wait time from when a woman seeks an abortion to when she can actually have the procedure from 24 to 48 hours. The analyst reported that there is no indication that this bill would have any affect on state or local funding.

HB493 would make it illegal for a woman to have an abortion if her fetus had a lethal fetal anomaly unless she was given information on perinatal hospice services. The analyst reported on the fiscal impact of the bill by saying, "House Bill 493 as passed the House could increase receipts to the State General Fund and municipal general funds from fines; increase receipts to the State General Fund, county general funds, municipal general funds, and other funds to which court costs are deposited; and could increase the obligations of local jails, district attorneys, the Department of Corrections, and the Board of Pardons and Paroles by an amount dependent upon the number of persons convicted of the offenses provided for in this bill and the penalties given.

"This bill would also increase the obligations of the Department of Public Health by an undetermined amount for the publication of a list of perinatal hospice programs and a description of the services available at each agency in Alabama and nationally and the placement of that list on the Department's website within 60 days after this bill is enacted.

"In addition, this bill could increase the obligations of professional licensure boards for physicians and other applicable regulated persons whose license is suspended or revoked for violations of the provisions of this bill. The increase in obligations could be offset in total or in part from reinstatement fees and/or reapplication fees that may be required by the licensure board prior to the licensure reinstatement."

The fourth and final bill would restrict minors from having an abortion without their parent's consent. Of the bill's fiscal impact, the analyst wrote, "House Bill 493 as passed the House could increase receipts to the State General Fund and municipal general funds from fines; increase receipts to the State General Fund, county general funds, municipal general funds, and other funds to which court costs are deposited; and could increase the obligations of local jails, district attorneys, the Department of Corrections, and the Board of Pardons and Paroles by an amount dependent upon the number of persons convicted of the offenses provided for in this bill and the penalties given.

"This bill would also increase the obligations of the Department of Public Health by an undetermined amount for the publication of a list of perinatal hospice programs and a description of the services available at each agency in Alabama and nationally and the placement of that list on the Department's website within 60 days after this bill is enacted.

"In addition, this bill could increase the obligations of professional licensure boards for physicians and other applicable regulated persons whose license is suspended or revoked for violations of the provisions of this bill. The increase in obligations could be offset in total or in part from reinstatement fees and/or reapplication fees that may be required by the licensure board prior to the licensure reinstatement."

The House has already passed all four bills. The full Senate has yet to vote on the bills.

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