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Planned Parenthood: Wilmington office to stay open

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WILMINGTON, N.C. -

Planned Parenthood Health System says it won't close its Wilmington office even if the North Carolina General Assembly approves new restrictions on abortion clinics.
    
Spokeswoman Melissa Reed said the Wilmington clinic does not meet the standards of a freestanding surgical center but would raise the funds to do so if that's mandated, according to a report from The StarNews of Wilmington.
    
"Planned Parenthood will be here for our patients no matter what," she said. "Our option would be we'd have to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to meet those guidelines, and that's what we'll do. We'll reach out to make sure we meet those standards but it's not an easy thing to do."
    
Planned Parenthood operates four clinics in North Carolina that offer abortion services. There are 16 facilities statewide licensed to perform abortions, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
    
There are two bills under consideration. Gov. Pat McCrory has said that, if it reaches his desk, he would veto the more restrictive one that would require abortion clinics meet the same standards as surgical centers and require a doctor be present for all doses of abortion drugs.
    
The Senate has yet to act on the measure. Supporters of the legislation say it's about protecting women's safety, not attempting to close facilities or limit access.
    
Reed said the Wilmington clinic sees about 2,000 patients per year and offers comprehensive reproductive health care including pap smears, testicular and breast cancer exams and testing for sexually transmitted diseases, in addition to abortion care.

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