WJTV News Channel 12 - House votes in favor of abortion legislation

House votes in favor of abortion legislation

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The state House has voted 74-41 on the latest version of legislation addressing abortion rules in North Carolina that also seeks to satisfy concerns of Gov. Pat McCrory.

McCrory said he wouldn't sign a bill requiring clinics to be regulated like outpatient surgery centers.

Thursday's debate centered on the measure that would increase standards for abortion clinics and require doctors performing abortions to remain physically present during the surgery or as a patient takes a drug to induce abortion.

The bill would also prohibit gender-selective abortions and curb abortion insurance coverage.

It now heads to the N.C. Senate.

A House committee approved a potential fix to the bill the Senate passed last week. It was attached to a piece of completely unrelated legislation the House had already approved.

The move drew criticism from hundreds of abortion rights advocates.

The bill now heads back to the Senate for final approval.

Governor Pat McCrory has not yet said if he'll sign the bill with the recent changes.

--- Original Story ---

Senate Republicans approved legislation Wednesday requiring additional rules surrounding abortions as hundreds of protesters observed from the gallery.

The final vote was 29-12 for the measure to direct regulators to change clinic rules, making them similar to ambulatory surgery centers.

The bill still requires House approval. That can't happen until at least next week.   

The bill would also prohibit gender-selective abortions, restrict abortion insurance coverage and require a physician be physically present during an entire surgical abortion.   

GOP legislators backing the bill say the measure will make abortion procedures safer for women and bring clinics in line with other medical facilities. Opponents argued the change would shut the doors of clinics performing abortions and trample on women's rights.

Governor Pat McCrory said his fellow party members in the Senate sneaked the rules through without public notice in a way that reminded him of how Democrats worked when they were in charge of the General Assembly.

"We should shake our head in disgrace for trying to pull a slick one, when this was an issue that deserved vigorous public discussion," said Sen. Floyd B. McKissick, Jr., (D) North Carolina General Assembly.

The Senate had already tentatively approved the bill Tuesday night. That happened just after a House bill unrelated to abortion was changed in a Senate committee to include the abortion provisions.
    
Protesters said they're in Raleigh to let Republican leaders know they're keeping their eyes on them.

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