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Eleanor Kinnaird

North Carolina Senate approves sweeping abortion bill

North Carolina Senate approves sweeping abortion bill

DURHAM, N.C. -- To cries of "Shame! Shame! Shame!" from outraged women, the state Senate in North Carolina on Wednesday passed a bill that would impose new licensing requirements and other restrictions on abortion clinics.

Hundreds of protesters, most of them women, gathered in the Senate gallery and outside the legislative building in Raleigh as the Republican-led Senate approved the bill, 29 to 12. The measure would require abortion clinics to meet the same medical standards as outpatient surgical clinics.

Republican backers of the bill said it is designed to protect women’s health. Opponents said the measure -- attached Tuesday night without public notice to an...