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Panel approves changes to abortion bill following McCrory veto threat

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Members of the House Judiciary Committee voted 10-5 along party lines to change an abortion bill after Gov. Pat McCrory threatened to veto the proposal.
    
The committee heard proposed changes Wednesday, particularly on alterations made by the Senate last week directing regulators to develop abortion clinic standards similar to those used to regulate outpatient surgery centers. McCrory's health department was worried about the requirement that a doctor be physically present for the entire surgical procedure.
    
Senate Bill 353 was originally legislation meant to address motorcycle safety, but the bill was amended with the new changes to the original House Bill 695 that Gov. McCrory threatened to veto. Charlotte Republican and bill supporter Rep. Ruth Samuelson says the administration is on board with the changes. No one from McCrory's team immediately spoke about the bill at Wednesday's committee meeting.
    
Parliamentary procedures would ultimately require additional House and Senate votes before the changes would go to McCrory's desk.

Planned Parenthood released a statement in response to today's surprise committee hearing on the abortion bill.

"It is a disgrace to North Carolina that legislators have again resorted to sneak attacks to move their anti-women's health agenda forward," said Melissa Reed, Vice President of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood Health Systems.

Reed says there was not public notice that the bill would be heard.

The public and even many legislators on the committee only learned this was a possibility at 9:57a.m., when a political reporter was tipped off and posted it on Twitter," said Reed. "This is outrageous and not how the people's business should be conducted."

Rep. Paul Stam said he believes Gov. McCrory will sign the new bill with the revisions that were made when the bill reaches the his desk.

Democrats are trying to negotiate a delay so that the public will have an opportunity to listen to the debate.

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