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Sorting Through What Supreme Court Abortion Ruling Means For NC

North Carolina passed an abortion law in 2013 with similar language to what the U.S. Supreme Court struck down this week in Texas. But the implementation has been different here.

One of the Texas provisions the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional was that abortion facilities must meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers. (Think: mini hospital with expensive building and HVAC regulations.)

The nation's highest court ruled that requirement "provides few, if any health benefits for women" and is an undue burden on access.

In North Carolina, Republican lawmakers in 2013 authorized the state health department to apply any ambulatory surgical center requirement to abortion facilities. The state's next step was one that abortion rights advocates were pleased with, including Tara Romano.

"DHHS worked with advocates and people in the medical community to come up with those regulations," she says, "so they ended up not coming up with regulations that were as strict as what was in Texas."

Romano is executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina. She's not aware of any clinics here that closed because of the law. In Texas, more than half the clinics closed. 

North Carolina does have other abortion restrictions, like a 72-hour waiting period and a requirement for doctors to submit ultrasounds to the state for abortions after the 16th week of pregnancy. Those are not provisions the Supreme Court considered.

Copyright 2016 WFAE

Michael Tomsic became a full-time reporter for WFAE in August 2012. Before that, he reported for the station as a freelancer and intern while he finished his senior year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Heââ
Michael Tomsic
Michael Tomsic covers health care, voting rights, NASCAR, peach-shaped water towers and everything in between. He drivesWFAE'shealth care coverage through a partnership with NPR and Kaiser Health News. He became a full-time reporter forWFAEin August 2012. Before that, he reported for the station as a freelancer and intern while he finished his senior year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He interned with Weekends on All Things Considered in Washington, D.C., where he contributed to the show’s cover stories, produced interviews withNasand BranfordMarsalis, and reported a story about a surge of college graduates joining the military. AtUNC, he was the managing editor of the student radio newscast, Carolina Connection. He got his start in public radio as an intern withWHQRin Wilmington, N.C., where he grew up.
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