NC regulators close 3 abortion clinics in 3 months - WNCN: News, Weather

NC regulators close 3 abortion clinics in 3 months

Posted: Updated:
RALEIGH, N.C. -

North Carolina's health agency has closed three abortion clinics in three months for violating health and safety regulations that previously did not cause suspensions.
    
The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Friday its review of Department of Health and Human Services records suggests that while periodic inspections at the state's 16 abortion clinics haven't increased, regulators are taking a more aggressive stance.
    
Prior to a Charlotte clinic's closure in May, the state had suspended just two clinics since 1999.
    
The suspensions in Charlotte, Durham and Asheville correspond with Republican lawmakers' anti-abortion efforts. On Monday, Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill requiring state regulators to write tougher regulations, last updated in 1995.
    
Abortion opponents hail the closings as proof a crackdown is needed. Abortion-rights supporters argue it proves the system already works.
    
The new state budget doubles the number of inspectors to 20.
    
Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina owns several clinics in the state and is concerned about the sudden closing of the three clinics. Paige Johnson, vice president of external affairs for the group, said it was worked well with inspectors in the past.
    
"Our relationship with the state has always been a partnership ensuring women are safe and cared for respectfully, and not a kind of gotcha," Johnson said. "There's been a flurry of attention from the governor's office and DHHS. What about hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, assisted living facilities? What has changed to make the state focus on abortion providers? Is it about politics?"
    
The newspaper also uncovered emails that show the inspections are being followed by the governor's office and Republican legislators. Emails about the closing of the Durham clinic in July went to McCrory's chief of staff as well as Republican members of a health and human services legislative committee and one of the committee's Democrats. Other Democrats in the committee were not included in the email messages.
    
A DHHS spokesman said the emails were standard practice.
    
"I think it just came as a courtesy email to let us know an action had been taken by the department," said Sen. Louis Pate, R-Wayne, who is on the committee. "I think it means that maybe DHHS is doing its job, or at least reacting to complaints."

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • NC survey shows Hagan with narrow US Senate lead

    NC survey shows Hagan with narrow US Senate lead

    Sen. Kay Hagain (D) and House Speaker Thom Tillis (R)Sen. Kay Hagain (D) and House Speaker Thom Tillis (R)
    A survey of North Carolina likely voters shows Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan holding a narrow lead over Republican challenger Thom Tillis roughly two months from Election Day.
    A survey of North Carolina likely voters shows Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan holding a narrow lead over Republican challenger Thom Tillis roughly two months from Election Day.
  • NAACP planning voting rights rally in Wilmington

    NAACP planning voting rights rally in Wilmington

    Monday, September 15 2014 6:59 AM EDT2014-09-15 10:59:45 GMT
    The North Carolina NAACP is planning a rally in Wilmington to call attention to voting rights
    The North Carolina NAACP is planning a rally in Wilmington to call attention to voting rights
  • GOP presidential prospects tout faith in the national anthem

    GOP presidential prospects tout faith in the national anthem

    Sunday, September 14 2014 7:40 PM EDT2014-09-14 23:40:08 GMT
    File PhotoFile Photo
    Two possible Republican presidential candidates are touting the nation's religious heritage as part of a webcast marking the 200th anniversary of the national anthem.
    Two possible Republican presidential candidates are touting the nation's religious heritage as part of a webcast marking the 200th anniversary of the national anthem.
Powered by WorldNow

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.