Femcare Clinic in North Carolina Could Soon Reopen

Femcare, the only North Carolina abortion provider that could for sure continue offering legal abortion care under the state's new abortion law, was closed on July 31, but it is now waiting for another inspection to reopen its doors.

While Femcare has reopened less than a month after its license was revoked by the state, the Baker Clinic for Women, which also had its license taken away in July, has announced it will voluntarily turn over its license rather than attempt to meet new ambulatory surgical center requirements and reopen. Shutterstock

Femcare, the only North Carolina abortion provider that could for sure continue offering legal abortion care under the state’s new abortion law, was closed on July 31 after violations were found during a routine inspection. Now the clinic believes it has addressed all the concerns, and is waiting for another inspection to reopen its doors.

Asheville-based Femcare, a surgical abortion provider, had its license suspended on the same day it was forced to close after an inspection revealed 23 ambulatory surgical center rule violations, including “nitrous oxide masks held together by tape, dust on a crash cart, failure to check that a defibrillator was functioning, failure to mop the operating room floor after each procedure and multiple violations of policy requirements for personnel records, training records and standing agreements with other providers.” The suspension was the most recent in a series of closures that local media have called a more “aggressive” approach to code violations for abortion clinics.

According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, the clinic has now “taken steps to regain compliance and is awaiting a follow-up inspection from the state Department of Health and Human Services.”

Medically unnecessary clinic regulations are the centerpiece of SB 353, a massive anti-abortion omnibus bill that was signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory in late July. That bill, as well as a number of bills that blocked expansion of health-care coverage for the poor and redirected taxpayer dollars to crisis pregnancy centers, led activists to hold a vigil outside the governor’s mansion after the legislative session ended.

Rather than have a substantive conversation with the protestors, Gov. McCrory brought them a plate of cookies.

Twelve-year-old North Carolinian Madison Kimrey would like to return the favor, urging the governor by video to meet with her: “I baked a chocolate pound cake just for the occasion.”

Kimrey also started a MoveOn petition that now has more than 11,000 signatures:

I’d like to sit down with you and discuss two things. I’d like to tell you, in person, how your bringing out cookies, followed by your staff bringing out cake, followed by your response through your spokesperson made me feel. I would also like to discuss the part of [HB 589] that deals with the ability of 16-17 year-olds to pre-register to vote. I don’t wish to debate you, I just want you to hear what I have to say and I want to hear what you have to say.

“I can’t vote and I don’t have a million dollars,” she wrote. “I’m not a well-funded group. I’m just a kid who was born in and lives in your state. However, I do have a voice and I hope you will take time to meet with me.”