Gov. Pat McCrory said Monday he wants legislators to take a closer look at abortion regulations in North Carolina before acting further on legislation that would place higher standards on clinics and more responsibilities on physicians.

McCrory, holding a rare formal news conference in the ballroom of the Executive Mansion, didn't say specifically what he would do if the current bill — hastily moved through the Senate before the long July 4 holiday — came to his desk. In a televised debate last fall as a candidate, McCrory said he didn't want to sign legislation that creates additional abortion restrictions.

Rather, it sounded like McCrory wants to find a way to avoid a potential showdown with social conservatives in his own Republican Party and abortion-rights advocates. He said he wants the House, which is next in line to review the bill Tuesday, to look at current clinic rules to see if they're reasonable and being enforced.