NC abortion bill passes Senate, heads to McCrory

Gov. Pat McCrory

Gov. Pat McCrory

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina’s Senate passed a restrictive abortion bill Thursday, and it now heads to Gov. Pat McCrory, who is expected to sign it.

The bill was passed by North Carolina’s House of Representatives this month.

The bill would place requirements on clinics that family planning advocates say would make it hard for them to stay in business. Among the requirements is the presence of a doctor when an abortion is being performed.

The bill would also allow North Carolina’s health department to make temporary new rules for the state’s 31 abortion clinics as it sees fit.

It prohibits government-administered insurance plans, such as those under the Affordable Care Act, from paying for abortions — though it makes exceptions when a pregnancy endangers a woman’s life.

“The recent House version allows the medical professionals at the Department of Health and Human Services to write the rules which will ensure women’s safety. I want to thank those who worked on an improved bill which will better protect women while not further limiting access,” McCrory said after the House bill passed.

Planned Parenthood called on the governor to veto the legislation. The group said more than 35,000 people signed a petition urging him to do just that.

“Make no mistake: These dangerous and deeply unpopular restrictions would endanger women’s health and safety. Governor McCrory should keep the promise he made to North Carolina women during his campaign and veto the bill sent to him today by the legislature,” Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said in a statement.

“This bill would take women back 40 years, and we won’t go back,” she said.

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