McCrory urges more debate on abortion issue
RALEIGH -- Governor Pat McCrory told reporters at a news conference Monday that he will not sign a bill to further restrict access to abortions in North Carolina, but left open the possibility he might sign a bill protecting women's health.
He was referring to a sweeping abortion bill passed last week in the North Carolina Senate that would require abortion clinics to meet new operating standards and require physicians be present when the procedure is performed. The bill would also prohibit gender-selective abortions.
McCrory said there is a fine line between safety for a woman's health and an intent to further restrict access to abortions in the state.
"Parts of the bill deal with safety, but I also see parts of the bill that clearly cross the line into restrictions," said the Governor.
McCrory said on the campaign trail he would not sign legislation to further restrict access to abortions. He reiterated that Monday answering a reporter's question.
"The question as I recall is will you sign any bill that would further restrict a woman's access and my answer is no. That's where I'm looking at each bill and determining is this a safety bill or is this an access bill and that's what I think needs further discussion and further review," he explained.
McCrory did not say he would veto the bill. If the House of Representatives passes it, it could become law without his signature.
McCrory also once again voiced his disappointment with the way the Senate quietly added the abortion rules to another bill during a late night session last week.
In a statement right after the vote, he likened the vote to the way things were done when Democrats control the General Assembly. As the bill moves on to the House, McCrory called for "open, honest, and transparent debate."
McCrory said he does support rules that regulate the health and safety of women who undergo abortion procedures. He pointed to the shutdown of a clinic in Durham last week that he said was not following existing law.
He said he's focused on enforcement and said he's concerned the N.C. Department of Health and Human Resources is currently understaffed in its enforcement efforts.
DHHS said it ordered the Durham clinic closed after finding safety violations. It suspended the certificate of operation for The Baker Clinic for Women last Friday. A letter from the department to the clinic pointed to its failure to ensure quality control was performed in blood banking, the process of collecting, separating and storing blood.
According to the department, a survey showed the clinic failed to perform quality control testing on 108 patients that received Rhesus testing.
The survey was conducted on July 2, and the letter to the clinic was dated last Friday. The Baker Clinic has 60 days to appeal the suspension.
pat mccrory, inside politics
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