NC regulators close 3 abortion clinics in 3 months

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s health agency has closed three abortion clinics in three months for violating health and safety regulations that previously did not cause suspensions.

The News & Observer reported Friday (http://bit.ly/137onLC ) that its review of Department of Health and Human Services records suggests that while periodic inspections at the state’s 16 abortion clinics haven’t increased, regulators are taking a more aggressive stance.

Before a Charlotte clinic’s closure in May, the state had suspended just two clinics since 1999.

The suspensions in Charlotte, Durham and Asheville correspond with Republican lawmakers’ anti-abortion efforts. On Monday, Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill requiring state regulators to write tougher regulations, last updated in 1995.

Abortion opponents hail the closings as proof a crackdown is needed. Abortion-rights supporters argue it proves the system already works.

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Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com

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