N.C. Governor Pat McCrory Expected to Sign Abortion Regulation Bill

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory is expected Friday to sign an abortion regulation bill passed last week by the N.C. Senate. Pro-choice critics claim McCrory will be breaking a campaign promise and are still hoping he will veto the bill.

The new law will require a doctor to be present during a surgical abortion and to be on site during medicinal abortions (no "web cam" abortions), provide conscience protection for healthcare workers who oppose abortion, make sex-selective abortions illegal, and ban taxpayer funding for abortions in the new healthcare exchange, except in cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother.

McCrory had promised to veto a previous version of the bill passed by the Senate. The bill the Senate passed on Thursday was the House version of the bill, which McCrory supports.

In promising to veto the Senate version, McCrory was apparently responding to concerns raised by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and being cognizant of a campaign promise not to restrict abortions.

The House version would give greater authority to DHHS to regulate abortion clinics according to their unique needs. The Senate version would have required abortion clinics to meet the same health and safety standards similar to ambulatory surgery centers. Though DHHS could technically pass higher standards than those for ambulatory surgery centers, most expect the standards to be lower. For this reason, pro-lifers in North Carolina would have prefered the Senate's version.

Pro-lifers are satisfied, though, with the House version. The Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, argued that anyone who cares about women's health should support the legislation.

"This is a truly wonderful measure that will hold abortion doctors and clinics to standards similar to those of other surgical facilities," he said in a press release. "Planned Parenthood is calling for the Governor to veto this bill, but we believe anyone concerned with women's health should want the best conditions for patients undergoing this procedure."

Critics claim McCrory will be breaking his campaign promise to not restrict abortions when he signs the bill. McCrory argues that the bill would only place safeguards, not restrictions, on abortions.

Pro-abortion group Planned Parenthood is planning two 12-hour vigils outside the governor's mansion this week in an attempt to convince McCrory to veto the legislation.

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