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Proposed Bill Would Restrict Abortion Clinic Doctors

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) -- Two state representatives have filed a bill that would restrict certain powers for doctors who perform abortions.

The first bill (602), called the "Women's Health Protection Act" and filed by Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, proposes that abortion clinic doctors and medical directors would be able to admit patients to Florida hospitals that were only within a 30-minute drive.

Current law allows for clinic medical directors to have admitting privileges at hospitals "within reasonable proximity" of the clinics.

Supporters say the bill helps to ensure patient safety, due to the closer proximity between clinic and hospital. However, opponents contend the requirements are designed to make it harder to provide abortions.

The second bill (HB 1), filed by Rep. Mike Hill, R-Pensacola Beach, restricts doctors and directors even further, requiring a 30-mile distance between clinics and hospitals.

Both bills have been filed for the 2016 legislative session, which starts in January.

(The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.)

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