The North Carolina Senate passed SB 353 Thursday in a vote of 31 to 13, moving the bill which restricts abortion from the legislature to the Governor’s desk for final approval. SB 353 is the Senate version of theHouse motorcycle safety bill that passed over a week ago. Lawmakers added abortion provisions in at the last minute in the House.
Although North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory said on the campaign trail that he would not sign into law any bills that further restricted abortion access, his statements about this bill have been largely unclear. After an earlier version of the bill passed he said he would not sign it into law unless “significant changes” were made, but after the House version passed he made a statement on his website saying it would ensure women’s safety.”

The bill will increase facility requirements at clinics by allowing the Department of Health and Human Services to impose any requirements that currently exist for outpatient surgical centers on them, and also bans abortion based on gender, requires a doctor be present during an abortion, and eliminates insurance coverage for the procedure for local government employees as well as people who receive health coverage via the federal exchange established by the Affordable Care Act. Only one of the state’s 16 existing clinics currently meets the new requirements.

Media Resources: Bloomberg Businessweek 7/25/2013; Charlotte Observer 7/25/2013; Huffington Post 7/25/2013; Feminist Newswire 7/18/2013, 7/11/2013; FMF Blog 7/12/2013

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