North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a restrictive anti-abortion bill into law Monday, despite campaign promises not to approve any new restrictions.
“The law does not further limit access,” McCrory said, arguing that it has only resulted in safer procedures.
The bill passed the state’s Senate and then its House of Representatives earlier this month.
The legislation will ban abortion coverage for public employees and individuals with federal health insurance. It will also ban sex-selective abortions and allow surgeons to opt out of the abortion if it is against their beliefs.
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The new restrictions are expected to close most of North Carolina’s 16 abortion clinics, since only one now meets the standards of an outpatient surgical center.
Planned Parenthood supporters protested outside the Executive Mansion for 12 hours Monday in a last minute attempt to have McCrory veto the bill. In a statement, McCrory said that those who oppose the bill are putting politics before women’s health.
“He has signed the most restrictive access to safe and legal abortions this state has ever seen,” Melissa Reed, the vice president of public policy for Planned Parenthood, said. “We will make sure women know Gov. McCrory can’t be trusted.”
The activists plan to hold another vigil on Tuesday, with a focus on registering new voters.