North Carolina joins states legislating against abortion
July 3rd, 2013
11:24 AM ET
9 years ago

North Carolina joins states legislating against abortion

Updated 7/3 at 2:30pm

(CNN) – Joining other Republican-controlled states like Texas and Ohio in legislative efforts to restrict abortion, the North Carolina state Senate Tuesday amended a bill originally focused on preventing foreign laws from playing any role in state legal proceedings to include a number of restrictions on abortion.

Amended and tentatively passed by the state Senate in one day in a 27-14 vote without any support from state Democrats, the bill would limit insurance coverage for abortions, require doctors to be present for the entire procedure, make gender-selective abortions illegal and require abortion clinics to meet the same licensing standards as surgical centers. The Senate gave it final approval Wednesday and sent it back to the North Carolina House for one last vote.

The licensing requirement in particular has become a popular tactic among anti-abortion advocates, which they argue ensures the safety of the procedure. Opponents argue it is an onerous requirement aimed solely at forcing abortion clinics to close.

Planned Parenthood's North Carolina branch is calling the amended bill a "sneak attack" on abortion rights and has vowed to fight the legislation, with supporters rallying in the state general assembly Wednesday morning.

The bill was first introduced in early April and was aimed solely at keeping foreign laws, which would include Islamic Sharia law, out of state legal proceedings such as divorce and child custody.

NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina said in a statement that the abortion amendment was passed without warning or public notice, arguing that it was meant to fly in under the radar. "In the final minutes of marking up an unrelated piece of legislation, the Senate Judiciary committee swiftly tacked on every anti-choice piece of legislation introduced since January," said Executive Director Suzanne Buckley.

Opponents of the North Carolina bill have expressed an awareness of larger fights over abortion, with references in particular to the filibuster and temporary disruption of a Texas abortion bill last week. In a Facebook post Wednesday morning, the Planned Parenthood Health Systems Action Fund cautions North Carolina protesters: "FYI: As opposed to Texas, anyone who is disruptive in the Senate gallery will be arrested."

Perry renews Texas abortion battle with special session

Some protesters have even said they're "wearing their Wendy Davis shoes," in reference to the Texas state senator who staged a 13-hour filibuster last week that was buoyed by disruptive protesters who crowded into the state capitol.

As the debate rages in North Carolina and Texas, Ohio has already managed to pass controversial abortion restrictions in its state budget. Signed into law Sunday by Republican Gov. John Kasich, the budget requires ultrasounds for anyone seeking an abortion and limits the ability of abortion patients to transfer to public hospitals.

Ohio joins Texas in middle of abortion spotlight

A CNN affiliate in North Carolina, WNCN, contacted a spokeswoman for Republican Gov. Pat McCrory Tuesday night, she had no comment. McCrory said in his campaign last fall that he wasn't interested in pursuing further abortion restrictions.

A separate bill currently working its way through the North Carolina legislature would require schools to teach students that abortions cause risks of premature births for subsequent pregnancies. Opponents contest that conclusion.

According to media reports, McCrory has said he would sign that bill into law, arguing that as an education bill, it is not a limit on abortion. The governor’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

The bill that the Senate passed Wednesday restricting abortions was shepherded by Sen. Warren Daniel, who referred to the "house of horrors" of the Philadelphia abortion doctor convicted of murdering live babies in defending the legislation. "This bill is about safety," the Republican said during the floor debate, according to WNCN. "If we require regulations that are burdensome on orthopedic (offices) and they can compete in the marketplace, than ... abortion providers can, too."

Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the Susan B. Anthony List, applauded the legislation, specifically referencing the Philadelphia case. “Numerous states have rightfully taken steps to increase the health and safety standards of their own abortion facilities in an effort to protect women," she said in a statement. "North Carolina legislators, like those in Texas and elsewhere across the country, are acting on the will of the pro-life grassroots in advancing this much-needed, common ground legislation.”

Filed under: Abortion • Planned Parenthood • Wendy Davis
soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    If the mother's life is truly "in peril", I think you'd be hard-pressed to find very many pro-life folks that would object to the procedure as a life-saving measure. I certainy wouldn't, and I'm proudly about as pro-life as you can get.

    And that's not how the left-wing rolls, Rudy. The left-wing wants abortion-on-demand, no matter the circumstances. Do you really believe that if legislation was proposed to limit abortion to those cases of rape, incest, or the life of the mother that the left would supoort it? Please... you've got to be kidding.
    Are you feeling okay today? What you wrote is the position held by most liberals. They support limiting abortion past a time limit except for cases of rape, incest, or when the mother's life is in danger. Now Republicans want to move the time limit and remove the exceptions. Weren't you listening to any of those GOP Presidential debates in 2011? Christian conservatives are against any abortions for any reason, and THAT is what the left opposes.
    No, I think it's YOU not feeling well. My position is life begins at conception – meaning no abortion unless rape, incest, or as a life-saving measure.

    July 3, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  2. ironman59

    Once again the gop in this state are going behind closed doors, in the dark of night to pass more 'big government" laws. Add this to the Ammendment 1 which they shuffled from the general election to the primaries because they knew they would lose. It is the same here. They did not want to allow any public debate on the bill. More to the point as usual they tack it onto other legislation that may be needed. They know if they did this on it's own it would have a massive public outcry.

    Once again the gop-tealiban strike again.

    July 3, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. gee

    The more detailed prohibitions are laid in 'law' the easier to break.

    July 3, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. just sayin

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes
    just sayin
    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes
    North Carolina is a complete totalitarian state.
    not allowing the murdering of thousands of viable human beings is the exact opposite of a totalitarian state. totalitarian states are the states that do not regulate abortions and inspect their clinics, exposing the women to dangerous conditions.
    wwelcome to the leftist world where down is up, up is down, and murder is a healthcare 'choice'.
    Implementing to voter laws that target minorities, students and the elderly. As far as your stance on abortion, STOP PUSHING YOUR RELIGIOUS VIEWS ON OTHERS!!!

    what does not wanting to murder babies have to do with religion? i am not an extremely religious person. but i have held a baby in my arms. i have seen babies born prematurely that survived outside the womb and grew up to be happy healthy adults. to deny that these babies are people and are alive and deserve to live is simply barbaric and inhuman.

    at some point, women must accept responsibility for their actions especially if another life is concerned. killing millions of innocent babies on demand is murder masquerading as 'healthcare'. the woman's 'choice' occurred several months earlier. now the baby, an innocent human being, must be given the choice of life, not death.

    July 3, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  5. luvUamerica

    The south will never change will it. It just gets more prejudiced, and more hateful. Where will they stop. I do not think they understand the word "liberty".

    July 3, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
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