Republican leaders

Jim Morrill / Charlotte Observer

RALEIGH - Senate Republicans have given their final approval to legislation requiring additional rules surrounding abortions in North Carolina, even as hundreds of protesters against the bill watched from the gallery.

The Senate voted 29-12 Wednesday for the measure that would direct regulators to change abortion clinic rules so they're similar to those for ambulatory surgery centers. The bill would still need House approval, which couldn't happen until at least next week.