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State Senate Passes Bill To Impose New Standards On Abortion Clinics

Protesters gather outside the legislative building to protest the abortion bill passed by the Senate Wednesday morning.
Jessica Jones

A bill that would require abortion clinics in North Carolina to have the same building codes and standards as ambulatory surgery centers has received final approval from the state Senate.  All of Planned Parenthood's clinics in North Carolina would not meet those standards.

The bill's Republican sponsors inserted the proposed requirements into an entirely separate measure last night and passed it on second reading. Today, about 600 people, most of them women, filled the gallery and the second floor of the legislative building to hear debate over the bill's third reading.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt told Republican lawmakers to expect more women to protest the measure.

"Overnight, you've generated this crowd, and I predict, before we're all said and done with this, that you're going to talk to them, and the governor's going to talk to them. You can't turn your back on half the people of this state." said Nesbitt.

The bill would also require doctors to be present for all abortions, including non-surgical procedures where women would terminate a pregnancy by taking drugs.

Governor McCrory has said he is not happy with the way the bill was passed. It now goes to the House.

Jessica Jones covers both the legislature in Raleigh and politics across the state. Before her current assignment, Jessica was given the responsibility to open up WUNC's first Greensboro Bureau at the Triad Stage in 2009. She's a seasoned public radio reporter who's covered everything from education to immigration, and she's a regular contributor to NPR's news programs. Jessica started her career in journalism in Egypt, where she freelanced for international print and radio outlets. After stints in Washington, D.C. with Voice of America and NPR, Jessica joined the staff of WUNC in 1999. She is a graduate of Yale University.
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