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Durham Clinic That Provides Abortions Vows To Reopen, Says New Regulations Unnecessary

The Baker Clinic For Women, which provides abortions, had its license revoked by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Baker Clinic For Women

A Durham clinic that performs abortions was closed last Friday, after an inspection by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. But the owner of that clinic says it will reopen.

In a notice of administrative action delivered by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the Baker Clinic was cited because it "failed to ensure quality control was performed in blood banking" and "failed to perform quality control testing on one hundred-eight patients that received Rh(D) [blood type] testing."

Dr. John Baker runs the clinic, and says he'll fix the problem. "It's a simple situation. It's just a lot of paperwork," said Baker. "The technical part of it is very easy to correct."

The closure comes as North Carolina lawmakers consider stricter regulations on abortion providers. The new rules could lead to many clinics closing, by requiring physicians who perform abortions be physically present during the entire procedure, and for facilities that provide abortions to meet requirements similar to the ones ambulatory surgical centers adhere to. 

Baker feels his clinic's situation could be used to support both sides of the debate. "Naysayers would say 'hey, this shows you how lousy these clinics are,'" said Baker. "They're doing this and that. Or, it can say, 'hey the states already doing a darn good job.'"

Baker says the rule his clinic violated was on the books for years and that current abortion regulations are enough. He doesn't approve of the new legislation on abortion providers pushed by Republicans.

"Basically, they would like to legislate abortion out of existence," said Baker. "So, anything that can be done, to make it as difficult for someone to get an abortion and as difficult as possible for anyone to provide that abortion, that's gonna happen."

Republican supporters of the proposed rules say they're needed to ensure women's health and that no politician from either party should oppose measures that increase safety and sanitation standards at clinics.

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