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South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley

COLUMBIA, South Carolina, December 7, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – South Carolina may increase how much abortion clinics have to reimburse the state for inspections, a top state health official told lawmakers on Tuesday.

The State reports that Shelly Kelly, who directs health regulations for the state's Department of Health and Environmental Control, said the state has typically covered the costs of inspecting abortion clinics by hiking licensing fees on other industries – essentially, subsidizing abortion clinic inspections.

Currently, according to The State, clinics pay $350 plus $25 per abortion room during initial inspections. For follow-up inspections, it's $200 as a base fee and $25 per room.

Costs, however, are much higher – more than $1,400 higher than what the clinics pay, Kelly said.

The state's costs have increased dramatically in recent months due to the hiring of a nurse for the health department and an increase in the number of patient chart reviews. Earlier this year, an audit by state legislators determined that the health department had not consistently inspected abortion clinics, which led to the investigations by state officials.

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Governor Nikki Haley and legislative lawmakers began to push for audits, which led to the three-month investigations of the state's clinics – which hadn't been done in five years.

The State reports that no criminal activity was found, though numerous violations were found – totaling $10,250 in fines and temporary suspension of licenses for two clinics. All of the clinics revised their procedures to match the state's standards.

It is not known exactly how much the state is planning to charge clinics for inspections.

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