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July 15, 2013

As states add abortion rules, most Americans remain ambivalent

(Continued)

More difficult to measure is the political fallout from the part of the bill that would require abortion clinics to upgrade to the standards of ambulatory surgical centers — a requirement only six of the state's 42 abortion facilities meet.

Abortion opponents portray that as a move to protect the health of women, one that is necessary since the trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, whose clinic was shown to be a house of horrors. Gosnell was found guilty of three acts of first-degree murder in the deaths of infants born alive while he was performing late-term abortions.

The other side, however, says that is just a pretext to put the vast majority of the state's abortion clinics out of business.

North Carolina's state Senate last week passed a similar set of regulations on clinics in a bill dubbed the "Family, Faith and Freedom Protection Act." Only one of the state's 17 abortion clinics meets the stricter requirements.

But North Carolina's Health and Human Services secretary, Aldona Wos, has questioned whether the higher standards are necessary for safety reasons, given that her agency maintains a vigorous inspection program of all medical facilities across the state, including abortion clinics.

During his 2012 campaign for governor, McCrory had promised that he would not sign into law any additional restrictions on abortion.

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