CHARLOTTE, NC, July 30, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed into law abortion regulations that will affect abortion facilities throughout the state, on Monday night.
Pro-life groups in the state welcomed the move.
“We are very happy with the governor’s signing of SB 353,” Barbara Holt, President of North Carolina Right to Life, told LifeSiteNews.com. “This law accomplishes the goals we set out to achieve this session.”
The law instructs officials to draw up more stringent regulations for abortion clinics and bans sex-selective and “web cam” abortions.
It also includes an opt-out of funding abortion in the federal health care exchange as instituted by Obama’s health reform law, and allows city and county employees to opt out of abortion coverage, except in the cases of incest and threat to the life and health of the mother.
Holt said the law will correct health care violations her organization recently discovered at a Charlotte clinic where doctors had been writing scripts for an injectable abortion-inducing drug without ever seeing the patients. That drug was then diluted and ingested by mothers to cause an abortion.
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Gov. McCrory is facing heat from pro-abortion activists who have accused him of breaking his 2012 campaign promise to not sign any law that might limit abortions.
“We are appalled that Gov. McCrory broke his campaign promise and we will do everything in our power to let the women of North Carolina know they cannot trust him to stand up to lawmakers intent on denying women access to safe and legal abortion,” said Paige Johnson, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Central NC.
Gov. McCrory signed the House’s watered down version of the abortion regulations, which passed the House on July 11, after threatening to veto the Senate version, which critics had said could shut down many of the state's clinics.
The House bill does not include a mandate included in the Senate version that the mother provide informed consent for the abortion after receiving medically accurate information about abortion.
While the Senate version also required a doctor to be “physically present” and “in the same room as the patient” throughout any abortion, whether surgical or medical, the new law only requires a doctor be present to initiate the abortion.
This will restrict doctors from initiating “web cam” abortions, but will not prohibit long distance follow-up appointments for medical abortions, which can take several days.
Also distinct from the Senate version, the House version directs Department of Health and Human Services to write rules “not unduly restricting access” to abortion, rather than mandating abortion facilities meet standards “similar to those for the licensure of ambulatory surgical centers” as was stipulated by the original version.
Planned Parenthood claims even the watered-down version of the law will “dramatically restrict access to abortion” and that it does “nothing” to protect women’s health or safety.
However, Gov. McCrory claims the law will not cause the closure of abortion facilities and his Secretary of Health and Human Services agrees, calling those who opposed the House bill “unrealistic” when it passed earlier this month.
“As medical science advances, we constantly have new information,” said DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos. “We must review our rules and regulations and become current.”
Planned Parenthood has launched an ‘in it for the long run’ initiative in opposition to the North Carolina, Texas and other similar bills that have popped up around the country since the Gosnell murder conviction.