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Pa. House, Senate Pass Abortion Clinic Regulations

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) - In response to the horrors uncovered by the grand jury investigation of a West Philadelphia abortion clinic, the state Senate and House have now passed similar but different bills on the regulation of clinics that have abortion rights advocates up in arms.

The state Senate Tuesday passed a bill that, while different from one passed by the House a few weeks ago, also has provisions that abortion rights advocates say will require costly upgrades that will force clinics to close down.

Lehigh Valley Democrat Lisa Boscola said she felt like she had 'a gun to (her) head' as she agonized over the bill, "I'll be supporting this bill. But you can guarantee you just ticked somebody off today. And I'm going to turn that little bit of anger and angst into activism, because I'm good at it."

"The bill is solely about insuring the health and safety of women," said Republican Robert Mensch, who sponsored the amendment requiring upgrades.

Republican Pat Vance, who sponsored the overall bill, said, "I must tell you I have agonized over this for the last several days."

Vance also has concerns about the Mensch amendment, "So I reluctantly rise to say that I will support my own legislation."

Before giving final approval to the bill, the Senate added an amendment that will provide for a study of the measure's impacts, but it would not delay implementation of its provisions. A spokesman for the Senate majority leader says the House and Senate will now have discussions about their respective bills with an eye toward sending something to the governor before recess.

Reported by Harrisburg Bureau Chief Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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