Planned Parenthood slams Alabama abortion bill

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The Alabama Senate approved the bill on Tuesday. It now heads to Bentley's desk, as the state House OK'd similar legislation earlier this year.

Admitting-privileges bills are a mainstay in the U.S. abortion debate.

Abortion-rights opponents say the measures ensure women receive top-quality care when they seek abortions. But critics say the requirements merely seek to foil the normal operations of abortion clinics, of which there are only four in Alabama.

The last month has seen several states pass new restrictions on abortion rights.

North Dakota now boasts the country's strictest abortion ban, prohibiting the procedure once doctors can first detect a fetal heartbeat with an abdominal ultrasound, or after about six weeks of pregnancy.

Before last week, when that ban was signed into law, Arkansas had recently broken the record with its new 12-week abortion ban.