RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- A divided North Carolina House has approved abortion rules supporters say will make the procedure safer for women but opponents argue is a thinly-veiled attempt to shut down clinics and curb reproductive rights.
The chamber voted 74-41 Thursday after an impassioned three-hour debate over directing regulators to increase standards for abortion clinics and requiring doctors to remain present for an entire surgical abortion. The physician also must be present when a woman takes the first dose for a chemically induced abortion.
The measure also would prohibit gender-selective abortions, curb abortion insurance coverage and expand conscientiously objection to participate in abortions.
The bill now returns to the Senate, which passed a similar bill last week but Gov. Pat McCrory later threatened a veto upon without changes. The House altered the measure.