N.C. Gov. McCrory vows to sign restrictive abortion bill

Pat McCrory speaks to supporters at his election night headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 after being elected governor of North Carolina as his wife Ann, back, looks on. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Pat McCrory speaks to supporters at his election night headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 after being elected governor of North Carolina as his wife Ann, back, looks on. (Chuck Burton/AP)

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) announced Friday he would sign legislation restricting abortion services in the state, despite pledging during last year's campaign he would not sign additional abortion measures into law.

In a news conference, McCrory praised the Republican-controlled state legislature for delivering on many of his top legislative priorities.The state Senate approved legislation Thursday that requires abortion clinics to make changes so they are comparable to ambulatory surgical centers, bans abortions on the basis of sex selection, restricts non-surgical abortions and allows health-care workers to opt out of participating in abortion procedures if they have moral objections.

“I appreciate the cooperation the legislature gave me in accomplishing 20 of the 22 objectives that I set out in my State of the State speech in January of this year,” McCrory said.

Already this year, states have adopted 50 measures limiting abortion access, according to the nonprofit Guttmacher Institute, which tracks the issue.

Earlier this month McCrory threatened to veto one version of the abortion bill, citing problems with the way it was brought up and concerns the state Department of Health and Human Services had raised about it. The House passed a slightly-altered version that would made abortion clinics adopt some, but not all, of the regulations that apply to ambulatory surgery centers, and let pregnant women to take abortion medication at home after taking an initial dose under a doctor's supervision in a clinic. That version passed the Senate Thursday.

"Governor McCrory is blatantly and unapologetically going back on his campaign promise not to support any restrictions on abortion in our state. He is sending a very public message that he can't be trusted to stick to his word," said Suzanne Buckley, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina.

Only one of the state's 16 abortion clinics currently meet the bill's standards, according to the legislative counsel's analysis of the bill, though it's unclear which ones might be able to afford the upgrade.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, who heads the antiabortion political action committee Susan B. Anthony List, praised the bill's passage and the governor's willingness to sign it.

“In the aftermath of Kermit Gosnell and other abortion clinic horrors, we commend the North Carolina legislature for taking action

Juliet Eilperin is a White House correspondent for The Washington Post, covering domestic and foreign policy as well as the culture of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She is the author of two books—one on sharks, and another on Congress, not to be confused with each other—and has worked for the Post since 1998.
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