NORFOLK -- A Norfolk abortion clinic will close Saturday after 40 years.

A message posted on Hillcrest Clinic's Website said 'After 40 years of providing quality reproductive health care, Hillcrest Clinic is closing effective April 20, 2013. We have been honored to serve the women of Tidewater with safe, legal healthcare for four decades.'

Just last week, the state approved new building and hygiene specifications to bring them in line with standards for new hospitals.

Hillcrest opened in 1973 on 1600 E. Little Creek Rd. and has 15 employees, including a team of doctors, nurses and counselor.

'It's a sad situation, for them (clinic staff) because they've worked there for a while,' said clinic director Suzette Caton.

Opponents predicted clinics would close because of the the cost to meet the rules and had hoped the Board of Health would 'grandfather' existing clinics.

The Virginian Pilot reports architects estimated Hillcrest would need $500,000 in renovations - including changing ventilation and temperature controls - to meet the standards. Other reasons for the decision to close, the paper reported, was the increasing cost of doing business and fewer abortions being performed.

Once Hillcrest closes, there will be 19 abortion facilities in Virginia.

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