(Updates with details on law and comments in paragraphs 3-8)
By Karen Brooks
July 29 North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory
signed into law on Monday new requirements for clinics
performing abortions that supporters say will protect women's
safety and opponents say will restrict access to the procedure.
The new law places sweeping new restrictions on abortion
clinics, including a requirement doctors have admitting
privileges at nearby hospitals and be present when abortions are
It also bans publicly funded health insurance programs from
paying for most abortions, and authorizes state health officials
to design rules for increased safety standards for abortion
The move comes just a week after Texas passed new standards
on abortion clinics and judges delayed anti-abortion legislation
in North Dakota and Alabama.
McCrory, a Republican, said Monday that the North Carolina
legislation furthers women's safety but does not
unconstitutionally restrict access to the legal procedure.
He had threatened to veto an earlier version of the bill
that required abortion clinics to follow the same standards as
ambulatory surgery centers, saying it was clearly aimed at
shutting down clinics in the state. McCrory said during his
campaign that he would not sign legislation aimed at restricting
"These higher standards will result in safer conditions for
North Carolina women," McCrory said Monday. "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
But abortion-rights advocates said that his signature
amounted to a broken promise, because the new standards on
clinic doctors will make it impossible for some clinics to
continue operating. They vowed to fight the new laws in North
Carolina and in other states.
"Over the last month, North Carolina women have stood up to
fight back and they aren't just going to stand by and take
this," said Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile
Richards in a statement. "They're going to take the energy and
enthusiasm that has been built here and run with it."
(Reporting by Karen Brooks in Austin, Texas; Editing by Mary
Wisniewski and Lisa Shumaker)