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)

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed legislation limiting abortion access into law Monday night, as abortion rights protesters waged a 12-hour vigil across the street from his executive mansion.

In a statement, McCrory said critics were exaggerating the impact of the law, which will make abortion clinics adopt some of the regulations that apply to ambulatory surgery centers, require pregnant women to take an initial dose of abortion medication under a doctor’s supervision in a clinic, allows health-care providers to opt out of performing abortions if they object. eliminates abortion insurance coverage for city and county employees and bars state residents from paying for the coverage through state health exchange plans.