On Wednesday, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human services suspended the license of an Asheville abortion clinic, citing almost two dozen safety violations discovered in a recent inspection. This throws the fate of the state's abortion clinics further into doubt, because the suspended clinic, Femcare, was the only one in North Carolina that was also an ambulatory surgical center, the higher standard demanded by the new law Gov. Pat McCrory signed two days ago. State officials say the clinic's suspension has nothing to do with the new legislation.
Abortion rights activists were already concerned because the new law could force clinics to close unless they fit some standards of ambulatory surgical centers. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has yet to say what those standards are, however. Melissa Reed, the Vice President of public policy for Planned Parenthood, suggested that clinics make sure they are up to code now: "It is absolutely critical that every single clinic meet current regulations, and that any violations are met in a direct and speedy manner." When asked about how the new law would affect their business, three North Carolina clinics declined to comment. Another four did not return requests for comment.