The North Carolina Senate has given its final approval to legislation establishing new regulations for abortions in the state, as hundreds of protesters watched from the gallery.
The Republican-led Senate voted 29-12 Wednesday for the measure that would direct regulators to change abortion clinic rules so they're similar to those for ambulatory surgery centers. The bill also would prohibit gender-selective abortions, restrict abortion insurance coverage and require a physician be physically present during an entire surgical abortion.
More than 500 opponents of the legislation — mostly women and many wearing pink — gathered at the Legislative Building after Senate GOP leaders added several abortion-related provisions to an unrelated bill late Tuesday.
Even Republican Gov. Pat McCrory criticized the rushed legislative process Wednesday, but he was silent on the bill's contents. The measure would still need House approval again before it goes to McCrory's desk.
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