feature image by Hal Goodtree via flickr
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed an extreme anti-abortion bill into law late last night.
Senate Bill 353 [PDF] requires abortion clinics to meet the same requirements as ambulatory surgical centers, eliminates abortion coverage under state employee insurance plans, bans sex-selective abortions, allows health care providers refuse to participate in abortion-related care, and requires that the doctor performing the procedure disclose their name at least 24 hours before a woman’s procedure. These new provisions threaten to close all but one abortion clinic in the state .
Gov. McCrory pledged not to sign any new abortion restrictions into law as part of his gubernatorial campaign.
But in a recent statement announcing the signing of the bill, McCrory said “These higher standards will result in safer conditions for North Carolina women. This law does not further limit access and those who contend it does are more interested in politics than the health and safety of our citizens.”
SB 353 was originally a motorcycle safety bill. Conservative lawmakers in the state House replaced the majority of the bill with abortion restrictions without advance warning. The same tactic was used to include even more restrictive abortion regulations to an anti-Sharia law a week earlier, which McCrory threatened to veto.
“Let’s be clear,” said Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “Not only did he break his promise, but this legislation which will close women’s health clinics that not only provide abortions but STI testing and cancer screening will injure thousands of North Carolinian women.”
“We are appalled that Gov. McCrory broke his campaign promise and we will do everything in our power to let the women of North Carolina know they cannot trust him to stand up to lawmakers intent on denying women access to safe and legal abortion,” said Paige Johnson, spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Central NC. Abortion rights advocates in North Carolina, organized by Planned Parenthood, camped outside McCrory’s office on Monday urging him to veto the bill.
Media Resources: Reuters 7/30/2013; Associated Press 7/29/2013; Governor Pat McCrory Press Office 7/29/2013; Senate Bill 353; Youtube 7/12/2013; Feminist Newswire 7/29/2013, 7/26/2013, 7/11/2013, 7/3/2013