Days After Restrictive Abortion Law is Signed, North Carolina Clinic Has License Suspended

Remember how, when  Pat McCrory ran for governor of North Carolina last year, he promised not to pass any new abortion-related restrictions? Don’t worry, neither does he. And barely two days after McCrory signed an anti-choice bill into law, the FemCare clinic–also known as the only abortion provider in Western North Carolina–has had its licensed suspended.

Officials with the state’s Department of Health and Human Services say that the suspension is unrelated to the new law, and cited 23 violations. However, a statement released on behalf of the clinic alluded to the fact that those new regulations may have been a factor in the suspension:

“Since the state’s last site visit in August 2006 there have been no changes in our operating protocols, but increasing regulations require us to make changes …. Standards that were acceptable when we were last inspected have changed and, as soon as we were notified of them two weeks ago, we began the process of meeting each one of them. … We have had no patient infections using our former protocols. We expect to be in compliance soon with the required standards and will return to serving our patients as soon as possible.”

This latest anti-choice law has been controversial virtually from the beginning. Earlier this summer, the bill’s supporters attempted to include it in a measure that would bar sharia law; when that attempt failed, the bill was included in a law regarding motorcycle safety. This addition seemed to be the very definition of “last-minute,” with not even state politicians–to say nothing of the public–aware of the change.

The new law requires clinics meet the same standards as ambulatory surgery centers; allows health care providers to refuse to provide an abortion; and stops government insurance plans from covering abortion care. It is estimated that most of the state’s 16 clinics would be at risk of closing, due to the expense of meeting the new surgery center standards.

About Sarah:
Sarah's first book, Generation Roe: Inside the Future of the Pro-Choice Movement, will be out March 2013. For more information, follow her on Twitter @saraherdreich, or check out


  1. I honestly dont see how this does anything that negatively affects the abortion industery at all really. I am betting if I looked this up and if the laws are still in place these clinics are also still operating just as well, (most likely better) as they have been.
    For any type of place that preforms any kind of procedure that runs a high risk of infection, to complain about laws forcing them to hold to higher standards of cleanliness other surgical centers then that is a huge red flag and they should be shut down as they are holding their profits higher than they are the care their patients are recieving. All this part did was make it harder if not impossible for clinics like the house of horror’s Dr. Gosnell was running where the place wasnt fit to even be a vet clinic let alone somewhere women were operated on inside that state. Any clinic that cant keep its doors open and also provide the same safety standards as other surgical centers needs to be closed to protect the lives of the women that would potentially fall victim to them (after all abortions main debate is health of the woman).
    As for the part on health care providers being allowed to refuse abortions to women, doesnt do anymore than to protect those health care organizations, hospitals, and clinics that dont believe in the practice of abortion to provide them when it is against thier core belief systems, from future health care laws in which could make them legally have to preform or allow abortiosn to be preformed on their premisses.
    As for making it law that medicaid, and other tax payer funded programs not pay for abortions as such a large precentage of tax payers find it against their beliefs should aslo be supported. For one as abortions for life threatening conditions to the mother, or rape account for less than one precent of abortions preformed every year the choice to have a abortion is about as personal as having a nose job, or breast implants albiet less controversial and doesnt affect more than the woman having it done. Though an arguement can be stated that 1% of breast implants or nose jobs done are because of reconstructive surgery for those who had cancer, or suffered a sever and physically damaging tradegy. However not enough of these are preformed for any reason aside from the woman’s personal decision and therefore isnt and shouldnt be covered by tax payers for low income people.
    On the abortion side of things having tax payers be forced to pay out for abortions will only open doors for more laws and regulations being pressed on abortion clinics such as making the time limit for legal abortion end a lot earlier in the pregnancy, more mandatory ultrasounds, higher standards for clinics, education to the woman as to exactly how developed the unborn child is, and pressing women to do other alternative options, etc. To make it so pro-life people have to pay into funding procedures they see as resulting in the murder of a innocent child, and evil more laws will inevitably have to be placed and continually pushed to make it as close to acceptable for both sides of the arguement. It is sort of like forcing PETA to pay for the support of commercial meat and dairy companies like KFC to be able to produce and slaughter more animals.
    If people truly are pro-choice there shouldnt be any push against any of these laws covering any of the mentioned laws. If people want to continue the right to bail out of a pregnancy as their choice then they need to also be supportive of not making those who are sickend by it to reserve the right to decide not be any part of it both finanically, or physically wether it be have to actually preform the abortions or allow them to be done at their hospitals or facilites. None of these laws stop abortion clinics from continuing to operate, nor does it prevent women from having abortions done if that is thier wish, it just solified the steps into protecting people’s beliefs on both sides of the debate, and also made sure that the abortions that are preformed are done in the safest, and most sterile enviroments possible.

    • I’d be very curious as to where you are getting your statistics from, as all of your arguments sound very general and unspecific — not to mention uninformed. The state of Pennsylvania neglected to inspect Kermit Gosnell’s clinic despite numerous lawsuits and warnings from both patients and pro-choice organizations — had the state authorities actually done their jobs, his shameful and dangerous clinic would have been closed decades earlier.

      TRAP laws, such as the ones in North Carolina, have little to do with safety. Please refer to the Guttmacher Institute’s wealth of information on that subject; or, if you prefer, the CDC and NIH both have statistics showing just how safe abortion care is when it is performed by well-trained health care professionals, which the vast majority of abortion providers in this country are (it’s worth noting that Gosnell wasn’t trained in abortion care). To insist that an already safe clinic meet additional requirements that have little to do with women’s health and only serve to make the procedure more difficult and expensive for women to obtain is not protecting women.

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