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McCrory says he is not breaking campaign promise by signing abortion bill

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Gov. Pat McCrory said he would not be breaking a campaign promise if he signs legislation establishing new rules for North Carolina abortion clinics. Gov. Pat McCrory said he would not be breaking a campaign promise if he signs legislation establishing new rules for North Carolina abortion clinics.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Gov. Pat McCrory said he would not be breaking a campaign promise if he signs legislation establishing new rules for North Carolina abortion clinics.

During last fall's campaign, McCrory made it clear he was not interested in signing additional abortion restrictions into law. During a televised debate last October, McCrory was asked which additional abortion restrictions he would agree to sign into law. McCrory responded simply, "None."

Earlier this month, the state Senate passed legislation that would direct regulators to change abortion clinic rules so they're similar to those for ambulatory surgery centers.

Only one abortion operator in North Carolina is a licensed ambulatory surgical center. Many of the other 16 clinics in the state would not be able to comply with the regulations because it would be too costly to upgrade their facilities, women's health groups said.

However McCrory expressed concern about the bill, explaining that he worried it would limit a woman's access to an abortion. He said that if the Senate version hit his desk, he would veto the measure.

After the threat of veto, House leaders adjusted the Senate's language with input from McCrory's top health agency administrator. The changes, McCrory said, meet his satisfaction.

"I will veto [the Senate's bill] if it's passed, because I believe the initial Senate bill did deny more access, which is a campaign commitment that I said wouldn't let happen," McCrory said Thursday. "We then revised the bill in the House."

McCrory explained that the House version of the bill allows the medical professionals at the Department of Health and Human Services to write the rules, which will ensure women's safety.

"I want to thank those who worked on an improved bill, which will better protect women while not further limiting access," McCrory said.

The governor said provisions of the House bill do not go against his campaign promise because the regulations are needed to ensure patient safety and do not limit a woman's access to an abortion.

Opponents of the legislation argue it is a blatant attempt to shut down clinics and curb a woman's right to choose.

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