McCrory signs NC abortion bill, says "it does not further limit access"
Gov.. Pat McCrory signed several bills into law on Monday, including the bill changing abortion rules in North Carolina.
RALEIGH, NC (WECT/AP) - North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is signing into law a route toward tougher regulation on abortion clinics that supporters say will enhance safety and opponents contend will force most to close.
McCrory said Monday the law he signed doesn't limit access to abortion clinics.
The law directs the Republican governor's Department of Health and Human Services to regulate abortion clinics using the same standards as those for outpatient surgical centers.
Opponents say that would effectively close most of the state's 16 abortion clinics since only one now meets those standards. A state regulatory official says an ambulatory surgical center costs about $1 million more to build than an abortion clinic and it's unclear how much it would cost existing clinics to convert to higher standards.
McCrory's office sent an email news release about several bills he signed into law on Monday, including the "Health and Safety Law Changes" bill (SB 353). "I would have vetoed HB 695 because it was clearly designed to restrict access," McCrory said in a statement with the email. "I am pleased that this new legislation is focused on the health and safety of women in North Carolina. These higher standards will result in safer conditions for North Carolina women. This law does not further limit access and those who contend it does are more interested in politics than the health and safety of our citizens."
McCrory also signed the "Amend Various Firearms Laws" bill (HB 937) which expands the areas where concealed carry permit holders can bring firearms, and the "Safe Harbor/Victims of Human Trafficking" bill (SB 683), which protects minor victims of sex trafficking and brings tougher penalties on those convicted of the crime. Sen. Thom Goolsby (R-New Hanover) was one of the primary sponsors of that bill.
Copyright 2013WECT. Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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