Femcare, the only abortion provider in North Carolina that meets all possible ambulatory surgical center requirements that could be mandated as part of a new anti-abortion bill signed by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory in July, has reopened less than one month after its license was revoked. However, the Baker Clinic for Women, which also had its license revoked in July, has announced it no longer intends to reopen and will surrender its license instead.
“We are pleased to be back open,” a representative for Femcare told Mountain Xpress. The Asheville-based provider has been reinspected by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and the agency stated health and safety conditions at the local clinic “no longer present an imminent danger to the health, safety, and welfare of clients effective August 21, 2013.”
Femcare is the only clinic in the state that will be able to remain open despite whatever new regulations are placed on abortion providers by the DHHS. The agency was given the power to craft new regulations for all clinics offering abortions after the passage of SB 353, an omnibus anti-choice legislative bill Gov. McCrory signed into law this summer even after promising not to support any new restrictions on abortion access during his political campaign.
Femcare was one of three clinics to have its license revoked since May in the state. A Preferred Women’s Health Center in Charlotte was closed in early May but reopened just a few days later, after changing protocol on how it administered a drug.
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Meanwhile, the Durham-based Baker Clinic for Women has announced that it will voluntarily turn over its license rather than attempt to address issues and reopen. The clinic was closed in July after inspectors reported it “failed to ensure quality control was performed in blood banking” and “failed to perform quality control testing on one hundred-eight patients that received Rh(D) [blood type] testing.”
Neither the Baker Clinic nor A Preferred Women’s Health Center were ambulatory surgical centers.