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Abortion bill clears NC Senate as protesters watch

Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Senate Republicans have given their final approval to legislation requiring additional rules surrounding abortions in North Carolina, even as hundreds of protesters against the bill watched from the gallery.

The 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 would still need House approval, which couldn't happen until at least next week.

The bill also would prohibit gender-selective abortions, restrict abortion insurance coverage and require a physician be physically present during an entire surgical abortion.

GOP legislators backing the bill say the measure will make abortion procedures safer for women and bring clinics in line with other medical facilities. Opponents say the changes could close clinic doors and trample on women's rights.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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