RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is signing into law a route toward tougher regulation on abortion clinics that supporters say will enhance safety and opponents contend will force most to close.
McCrory said Monday the law he signed doesn't limit access to abortion clinics.
The law directs the Republican governor's Department of Health and Human Services to regulate abortion clinics using the same standards as those for outpatient surgical centers.
Opponents say that would effectively close most of the state's 16 abortion clinics since only one now meets those standards. A state regulatory official says an ambulatory surgical center costs about $1 million more to build than an abortion clinic and it's unclear how much it would cost existing clinics to convert to higher standards.
Governor Pat McCrory on Friday signed the new state budget, two days after state lawmakers approved the $20.6 billion spending plan.
Lawmakers finished their session this morning, passing a flurry of bills.
During an afternoon news conference, McCrory says he will sign an abortion bill which was passed by the Senate on Thursday. The Republican governor also said he plans to sign changes to the state's voting system, which includes requiring people to show identification at the polls.