Even after Gov. Pat McCrory signed a controversial abortion bill into law late last month, the future of abortion in North Carolina is still unclear.
Senate Bill 353 imposes more stringent facility regulations on abortion clinics, limits abortion coverage under county or town health insurance plans, prohibits abortion based on a fetus’ sex and amends the Women’s Right to Know Act to require doctors to be present when the woman takes an initial abortion-inducing drug.
Opponents say the legislation could temporarily shut down several clinics in the state.
“In every state where similar legislation was met, the regulations did not have to do with patient care or healthcare,” said Paige Johnson, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina. “They have to do with facility issues — issues that have no bearing in safe and legal abortions.”
Johnson said in other states, legislators aim to close clinics through regulations that often pertain to door-width sizes and parking space requirements — costs some providers won’t be able to afford. Bills similar to this have been used nationwide to shut down safe and legal clinics, she said, adding that it was introduced in North Carolina with the same intent.