North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) has signed an anti-abortion bill on Friday that allows the state's health agency to impose strict regulations that match those of outpatient surgical centers, according to the pro-choice group NARAL North Carolina.
Though McCorory had previously objected to the bill because he thought the state's Department of Health and Human Services should be left to determine the regulations and not the state legislature, Republican lawmakers conceded to his demands in the final version of the bill. McCrory tweeted after he signed the bill, "Pleased that DHHS & Sec. Wos will have ability to revise rules that will better protect health & safety of women and make clinics safer."
The bill is similar to one signed into law in Texas earlier this month that imposes regulations so stringent that all but five clinics in the state are likely to close.
The Associated Press reported that McCrory had promised during his re-election campaign last fall that he wouldn't sign any more abortion legislation into law.
The bill came under fire in recent weeks because Republican lawmakers added the sweeping abortion restrictions to an unrelated motorcycle safety bill.
The leader of Planned Parenthood of centeral North Carolina President Janet Colm objected so strongly she was one of 64 people arrested earlier this month during weekly "Moral Mondays" progressive protests.
Update: Statement from NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina
"Governor McCrory is blatantly and unapologetically going back on his campaign promise not to support any restrictions on abortion in our state. He is sending a very public message that he can't be trusted to stick to his word," Suzanne Buckley, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, said in a statement published on Friday.
"Despite what the Governor may claim, SB 353 will severely restrict women’s access to safe and legal abortion care and jeopardize North Carolina women's health and safety," Buckley continued. "This bill is the most egregious attack on women’s reproductive rights and safety that we’ve seen in over 40 years. It will severely limit women’s access to safe and legal abortion care and take access to abortion care coverage away from thousands of North Carolina local government employees."