Only Abortion Clinic in Western North Carolina Closes


The only abortion clinic in western North Carolina closed its doors on Saturday after its facility was put up for sale in March. The closest in-state abortion provider for women in the region is now in Charlotte.

Femcare, which had been open since 1985, has faced an uncertain fate since last summer when it briefly closed and then reopened. A spokesperson for Femcare told the Asheville Citizen-Times late last week that the clinic would be closing on Saturday, but declined any further comment.

Last July, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human services suspended Femcare’s license after an inspection found rule violations. The suspension came just days after SB 353, an omnibus anti-choice bill, was signed into law by Gov. Pat McCroy. Along with banning telemedicine abortion and insurance coverage of abortions through the state’s insurance exchange, the bill also gave the state health board the power to regulate abortion clinics using the same standards as those used for ambulatory surgical centers. The clinic closed following the suspension but reopened later that month.

As RH Reality Check reported last year, Femcare was the only clinic in the state to meet all ambulatory surgical center requirements under SB 353.

According to the local paper, Planned Parenthood is in the process of opening a new clinic in Asheville. Originally slated to open before Femcare shuttered its doors, the new clinic will be ready to see patients sometime in December, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports.

The delay means that for six months, women seeking an abortion in western North Carolina will have to travel to find safe, legal abortion care. The closest clinics are now 125 miles away, in Charlotte, and 60 miles away in Greenville, South Carolina.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Follow Nina Liss-Schultz on Twitter: @NinaLisss

To schedule an interview with Nina Liss-Schultz please contact Communications Director Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • kitler

    Sad.

  • fiona64

    Once again, women with money and the ability to travel will still be able to obtain needed services, while those with the *greatest* need will not. How the anti-choice can pretend they are really “pro-life” is beyond me, when they crow over the closure of clinics that performed cervical and breast cancer screenings and other well-woman services for the impoverished and low-income women in their areas.

  • Jeanette Victoria

    Good news for the unborn

    • kitler

      Women will just go elsewhere or order abortion pills online.

      • Jeanette Victoria

        Perhaps some babies will live though and that is a good thing

        • kitler

          Embryos are not babies.

          • Jeanette Victoria

            They are HUMAN that is a scientific fact the only difference between and embryo and a baby is a matter of maturity. You are engaging in the same tactic slavers did by trying to dehumanize a human being!

          • kitler

            So what. I’m human. Does that give me a right to your body?

          • Jeanette Victoria

            No, nor does it give you the right to murder and immature HUMAN

          • kitler

            Why don’t I have the right to use your body as life support?

          • Jeanette Victoria

            You gave the baby that right the moment you engaged in sex

          • kitler

            Consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy.

            Consent is not a one time thing. If you donate bone marrow to me, I do not have the right to keep taking it without your consent

            All forms of contraception have known failure rates

          • Jeanette Victoria

            And there we have it another person who want to deny reality. Sex means pregnancy. Of course all forms of contraception have known failure rate. Apparently recreational sex is far more important to you than a human life, says it all.

          • kitler

            Sex does not mean pregnancy. Sex means pair bonding. And sex rarely results in pregnancy in humans, which goes to show that, evolutionarily, sex evolved as a social activity. Pregnancy need not accompany every sex act and often does NOT.

            And your s1ut shaming ad hominem attack has been noted.

          • kitler

            And again. Consent is not a one time thing. Consent can be revoked

          • P. McCoy

            Parasites have only the ‘right to life as WE the host body deems fit to grant it. That is for the woman to decide, not you, nor the church, nor the state.

          • kitler

            Wrong person.

          • P. McCoy

            You’re correct. I apologize.

          • lady_black

            Not to me, sex doesn’t mean pregnancy.

          • Jeanette Victoria

            That is because you have been carefully brainwashed to ignore basic biological fact!

          • kitler

            Nope.

            Consent to sex = consent to social binding. It is an evolutionary exaptation and procreation need not happen.

          • lady_black

            Oh, I’ve pretty much been ignoring that “fact” for a very long time. That’s why they invented tubal ligation. So sex doesn’t mean babies.

          • Unicorn Farm

            “Sex means pregnancy.”
            Now, this doesn’t seem quite right. I’ve been having sex for a decade and a half and have never been pregnant. I don’t recall being pregnant when I had sex on the Fourth, to celebrate America and spite Chief Justice Roberts. My partner wasn’t pregnant either, at least, he didn’t look it. We didn’t invite a pregnant woman to join us, although I suppose we could have. If sex means pregnancy, then what did I do wrong?

          • P. McCoy

            A parasite has no power to grant it permission to exist in a host body.Also, human beings don’t mate like animals to merely beget offspring, if we did we would have mating seasons and be indifferent to adult opposite sex members the rest of the time. Your religion LIED to you- sex for humans is for PLEASURE first then pregnancy! Go impose your anti- sex dogma on somebody else!

          • lady_black

            No, sweetheart. having sex is not consent to gestation. Only consent to gestation is consent to gestation. You have no obligation to breathe for another, or provide them access to your bloodstream because you have had sex. No matter how “human” they are.

          • P. McCoy

            Same is true about a cancer cell; it’s human too in humans both are parasites. Slaves were sentient humans that didn’t live inside of another person’s body and depend on the slave master’s body alone for 100% of its survival.

          • lady_black

            No “human” has the right to demand that another human breathe for him, or provide access to the other human’s bloodstream. And slavers routinely bred slaves like animals.

        • P. McCoy

          Yeah and get roasted to death in cars while dh is sexting and sending pictures of his c**k- that’s what happens to unwanted children. Abortion would have been more humane.

  • EmmaLib

    I once lived in NC, could no longer stand fighting idiots who voted against their best interests, and it broke my heart to see the Americans for Prosperity (The KOCH Party) literally destroy NC, and there is no recall process either. You know darn well too, Planned Parenthood will never pass muster, even if it followed the letter of the law and then some. They will soon shut all clinics in NC…..women are disposable citizens according to the five conservative supreme court justices and the NC GOP majority General Assembly! Recall just last year tea bagger Thom Tillis, Majority leader proposed Christianity as the state religion. He was advised if he wanted to run against US Senator Kay Hagan (D), to revisit that issue after he wins her seat!

    The American Tealiban is alive and well, funded by the Koch brothers, and Corporate America.