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North Carolina Abortion Clinic To Close, Could Have Been Only Remaining Clinic In State

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FemCare, said to be the only North Carolina abortion clinic to remain open following the recent passage of a controversial abortion bill, had its license suspended by the state's Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday.

The Asheville abortion clinic was cited with 23 violations, including a lack of weekly checks on emergency medical equipment and poorly maintained anesthesia equipment.

FemCare is the only abortion provider in the state that meets ambulatory surgical center standards, which would have made it the only clinic immune to recently passed legislation.

The clinic, which cleared an August 2006 inspection, has seen no changes in protocol or regulations since then, according to Dr. Lorraine Cummings.

"Standards that were acceptable when we were last inspected have changed and, as soon as we were notified of them two weeks ago, we began the process of meeting each one of them," Cummings said in a statement on behalf of the clinic.

Melissa Reed, vice president of public policy for Planned Parenthood, said the suspension was evidence of the effectiveness of the state's existing regulation standards.

“It shows that the regulations are currently tough enough in North Carolina and are working and that DHHS should have the resources they need to inspect these facilities more often," she said.

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