McCrory, Planned Parenthood - WNCN: News, Weather

McCrory confirms he will sign abortion bill

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

In a press conference Friday, Gov. Pat McCrory announced he will sign the controversial Senate Bill 353, that places restrictions on abortions in North Carolina.

Outside of the Governor's Mansion, protestors gathered calling the governor a "liar" for going back on his campaign promise to veto legislation that restricts access to abortion.

"I made a commitment that I would not sign any act which would limit future access. We are not signing a bill which would limit future access. I want to state that again – we are not signing a bill which would limit future access," McCrory said.

Instead, McCrory said he is signing a bill that increases the health and safety of women using abortion clinics.

McCrory pointed to a Durham abortion clinic that was shut down last month as proof that there is a problem in North Carolina.

The Baker Clinic was forced to close in Virginia and reopened in Durham until last month when the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services discovered health and safety violations. DHHS shut it down, calling it an "imminent danger."

"I'm not okay with that. I think abortionists like that should be shut down and they should stay closed," said Right for Life board member Julie Emmons.

Under the new law, clinics that perform abortions will be required to meet the standards of outpatient surgery centers. DHHS would have full control of determining what those standards would be. DHHS declined to give a timetable for how long it would take to draft the new rules.

"In other states (the new requirements) included widening doorways, the number of parking spaces we have to have available, requiring aluminum awnings over our entryways… nothing that has to do with protecting the health and safety of clients," said Melissa Reed with Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood has nine clinics in N.C., four of which perform abortions.

Reed estimates the new requirements will mean Planned Parenthood will have to spend $300,000 on each of the abortion clinics.

"They're just unnecessary expenditures really with the purpose of putting abortion facilities out of business," said Reed.

Reed confirms Planned Parenthood will do what it takes to remain open and will likely turn to fundraisers to recover the cost.

"But many of the small, private clinics won't be able to do that and will have to close," she said.

Planned Parenthood performed 28,000 abortions in N.C. last year.

The organization earned $300 million off abortions nation-wide last year and has a $1 billion annual budget.

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