2011-12-29 / Local & State

Corbett Signs New Abortion Clinic Rules Into Law

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A bill that could mean expensive facility and staff expansions for clinics that perform abortions in Pennsylvania is now state law after a bitter fight in the Legislature.

Gov. Tom Corbett signed the bill last Thursday without comment.

Operators of abortion clinics worry that they’ll be unable to afford the cost to comply with the same standards as freestanding surgery centers. They say much will depend on how the state Department of Health decides how to apply them.

The bill was spurred by a case in which authorities say newborn babies were routinely killed in illegal, lateterm abortions performed inside a filthy, now-shuttered Philadelphia clinic that employed workers who weren’t properly trained.

Abortion-rights supporters say the existing standards for abortion clinics are adequate if state inspectors do their job properly.

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