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North Carolina shuts abortion clinic in Asheville

By Nadia Kounang, CNN
August 1, 2013 -- Updated 2258 GMT (0658 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The state cites 23 violations of regulations at a clinic in Asheville
  • The clinic says it expects to be in compliance soon
  • State agency says suspension was not related to a new law for abortion clinics

(CNN) -- North Carolina officials have pulled the license of one of 15 clinics in the state specializing in abortions, with the state citing alleged health and safety violations found during a recent inspection.

Femcare medical clinic in Asheville was cited for 23 different violations, including failing to clean operating beds, using tape to hold the gas delivery system together, and not have a resuscitator available for patients. The clinic's license was suspended Wednesday, some two weeks after the inspection.

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North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory last week signed a law requiring all abortion clinics to be held to the same standards as outpatient surgical centers this past Monday.

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But the state Department of Health and Human Services said the Femcare inspection was part of a routine facilities check, and the passage of the state's recent abortion bill had nothing to do with the clinic's closure. In a news release, the state agency described what it called "egregious violations of existing rules that revealed an imminent threat to the health and safety of patients" at the Asheville facility.

In a statement, Femcare said, "Since the state's last site visit in August 2006 there have been no changes in our operating protocols," and went on to say, "We expect to be in compliance soon with the required standards and will return to serving our patients as soon as possible."

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