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State Committee Approves Abortion Clinic Restrictions

CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) -- Some bills having to do with abortion are in the Illinois House Agriculture Committee.

On Tuesday, the committee passed a measure that would place abortion clinics under strict new regulations characterized by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as "essentially forcing them to become miniature hospitals."

Backers say the purpose is to make sure the clinics are up to medical standards, but opponents say the legislators are trying to shut the clinics down, the Post-Dispatch reported.

As WBBM Newsradio 780's Dave Dahl reports, right-to-life proponent Dawn Behnke says abortion clinic workers should be mandatory reporters.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780's Dave Dahl reports


"In 10 states, when minors are coming into abortion facilities – even though it was known by the individuals that did abortions or abortion referrals that these individuals were minors, and it was suspected that they were abused or neglected – those facilities did not report," Behnke said.

Many had questions about why the Agriculture Committee was debating abortion rights. Several women in the spectator area at the committee meeting wore T-shirts reading, "Women Are Not Livestock."

One member says the name of the committee is relatively meaningless, and the purpose is to get the bill to the House floor for a full vote.

The Agriculture committee is dominated by conservative downstate lawmakers, and has previously taken up issues having nothing to do with agriculture. In fact, just last week, the committee passed a bill that would allow county sheriffs to concealed carry handgun permits in Illinois.

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