S. Carolina agency suspends changes to abortion regulations

AP News
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Posted: Nov 15, 2016 5:49 PM

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina agency is holding off on recommending any changes to abortion clinic regulations after being inundated with responses to its drafted proposal.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control confirmed Tuesday the process is delayed indefinitely.

Spokeswoman Cassandra Harris says the agency received nearly 460 comments on proposed changes put out in September for public review. The agency had expected to hold a hearing in December and send recommendations to legislators.

Abortion rights advocates praised the department's move. Those advocates opposed rules requiring physicians who perform abortions to be board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology and requiring clinics to meet higher surgical standards.

Planned Parenthood regional spokeswoman Vicki Ringer says the decision shows South Carolinians "spoke out loudly and in huge numbers" to oppose medically unnecessary restrictions.