Abortion doctors' bill passes state House

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A proposal that would require all doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges in a licensed hospital either in the county where the procedure is performed or in an adjacent county has passed the House.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Matthew Hill of Jonesborough was approved 72-24 on Thursday. Eight Democrats voted for the mostly Republican-backed proposal.

Hill has said the bill is about women's health and safety and he reiterated that Thursday.

Critics, however, contend that abortion providers are being singled out because the law doesn't require doctors at other ambulatory clinics to have hospital admitting privileges.

The companion to the legislation is awaiting a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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