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Amid Cries Of 'Shame,' Senate Gives Final OK To Abortion Clinic Rules

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Jim Morrill
/
Charlotte Observer

RALEIGH - Senate Republicans have given their final approval to legislation requiring additional rules surrounding abortions in North Carolina, even as hundreds of protesters against the bill watched from the gallery.

The Senate voted 29-12 Wednesday for the measure that would direct regulators to change abortion clinic rules so they're similar to those for ambulatory surgery centers. The bill would still need House approval, which couldn't happen until at least next week.

The bill also would prohibit gender-selective abortions, restrict abortion insurance coverage and require a physician be physically present during an entire surgical abortion.

GOP legislators backing the bill say the measure will make abortion procedures safer for women and bring clinics in line with other medical facilities. Opponents say the changes could close clinic doors and trample on women's rights.

The bill was pushed through the Senate in less than 24 hours with little public notice. Gov. McCrory says he’s unhappy with the process.

McCrory say Senate Republicans who pushed the legislation are completing business the same way that Democrats did when they were in charge of the General Assembly. McCrory says it was not right then and it's not right now.

He did not say what he'd do if the bill comes to his desk for his signature. McCrory was asked last fall during a debate which additional abortion restrictions he would agree to sign into law. He said none.