Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, is pushing to defeat an abortion bill being considered in the North Carolina legislature.
The measure, introduced by lawmakers last week, requires doctors to have "admitting privileges" at a nearby hospital to provide abortions. It also mandates that doctors stay on site until a woman is ready to go home following an abortion.
Proponents says it's about keeping women safe.
"The woman needs to be protected," Republican state Sen. Neal Hunt, one of the sponsors of the bill, told WTVD-TV. "Her health is paramount if you're going to do this procedure, which I don't advocate. If you're going to do it, you've got to make sure it's safe."
But Melissa Reed, vice president for public policy at Planned Parenthood, said, "This bill is about pure politics and has nothing to do with patient safety."
Reed is worried hospital administrators will be so concerned about protestors they will refuse to give abortion providing doctors the needed admitting privileges, effectively shutting down abortions in North Carolina.
Political observers say some version of the bill could pass both the state Senate and House. It will then be up to North Carolina's governor to sign or veto.