RALEIGH, N.C. — 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 today 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.