Abortion

NC General Assembly

One of the issues still to be decided by the North Carolina Legislature before it adjourns is whether to approve new rules that Republicans say would make abortion safer.

Democrats say abortions in the state are already very safe, and that the new provisions would lead to clinics closing.

GOP Faithful Rally To Back NC's Direction

Jul 17, 2013
North Carolina Legislature passes a tax reform bill.
W Edward Callis III

RALEIGH, N.C. - About 200 supporters expressed their appreciation for North Carolina Republicans efforts to cut taxes, require identification before voting and make getting abortions more difficult.

101 More Arrested In Moral Monday Demonstration; Counterprotest Coming

Jul 16, 2013
Protesters gather at the capitol for a Moral Monday protest.
David Biesack via Flickr, Creative Commons

RALEIGH, N.C. - About 100 protesters are facing charges for demonstrating outside the North Carolina Senate in the latest of what have become weekly protests against Republican policies.

More than two-thirds of those arrested Monday were women. Organizers focused on women's rights and leadership as legislation that could close most of the state's abortion clinics nears a final vote.

NC Legislative building
NC General Assembly

Lawmakers in the state House have passed a bill that would place more requirements on clinics that provide abortions in North Carolina.

While some legislators say the measure is not as restrictive as a similar bill passed in the Senate last week, abortion-rights advocates say this measure could seriously restrict womens’ access to the procedure.

The House debated SB 353 today.
Screen Shot, WRAL Broadcast

The State House has passed a bill imposing new restrictions on clinics that perform abortions. The bill passed 74-41. Republicans say the measure is meant to protect the health of women. Republican Jim Fulgium of Wake County is a physician. He says this legislation will provide the rules to protect a woman's health.

Protesters gather outside the legislative building to protest the abortion bill passed by the Senate Wednesday morning.
Jessica Jones

There are a range of facilities in North Carolina where a woman can get an abortion: a stand-alone clinic, a physician’s office, an ambulatory surgical facility, a hospital, and a hospital-affiliated clinic or health center. According to a report released by the Guttmacher Institute in 2011, the most common abortion providers in the state are stand-alone clinics, which are licensed by the NC Department of Health and Human Services.

Most clinics that provide abortions also offer a range of other services related to reproductive health.  In addition to clinics, all hospitals and obstetrics/gynecology doctors are legally licensed to perform abortions, although not all do.

How would House Bill 695 affect abortion providers in NC?

On July 3, the North Carolina Senate passed a bill (HB 695) that, if signed into law, would likely shut down all 15 clinics that provide abortions in the state. It would not affect the one abortion-performing ambulatory surgical center in Asheville, nor would it threaten hospitals or hospital-affiliated women’s health centers.

NC House
Jessica Jones

House lawmakers have passed their own version of a bill to regulate abortion clinics in a committee meeting. This comes after Governor McCrory said he would veto a similar bill passed by the Senate.

The House's bill was worked into an unrelated measure and passed in a Judiciary committee meeting this morning. The new bill shares some features of a previously passed Senate measure that places tighter restrictions on clinics that provide abortions.

Office of Pat McCrory
NC Governors Office

Governor Pat McCrory said that he will veto a bill that places stricter regulations on clinics providing abortions unless state lawmakers make significant changes to the bill. McCrory's office released a statement this morning saying “major portions of the bill are of sound value,” however he would block the measure unless the legislature amends it to include provisions his administration outlined yesterday.

The Baker Clinic For Women, which provides abortions, had its license revoked by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Baker Clinic For Women

A Durham clinic that performs abortions was closed last Friday, after an inspection by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. But the owner of that clinic says it will reopen.

In a notice of administrative action delivered by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the Baker Clinic was cited because it "failed to ensure quality control was performed in blood banking" and "failed to perform quality control testing on one hundred-eight patients that received Rh(D) [blood type] testing."

Aldona Vos, DHHS
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

The head of North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services has asked state lawmakers to review a bill that would enact new regulations on abortion providers.

Secretary Aldona Wos told lawmakers at a committee meeting earlier today that her department and the governor are very concerned about patients' safety. News 14 Carolina broadcast the meeting.

Members of the Senate debating the abortion bill, legislature, general assembly,
screenshot, WRAL live coverage

House Bill 695 was originally designed to ban Sharia Law in North Carolina. But last week, the bill was amended to include new restrictions on abortions in the state. Families across North Carolina came out to protest against the bill when it was discussed in the senate; however, the bill was passed 29-12.

Gov. Pat McCrory
NC Governor's Office

Governor Pat McCrory gave his first press conference in six months at the governor's mansion today.

He said he and legislators are coming close to reaching an agreement on tax reform, which would pave the way for producing a state budget.

McCrory also said the Senate's quick passage of a bill last week that would result in shutting down most of the state's abortion clinics was not the best way to pass such a controversial measure. McCrory said there's a fine line between restrictions on abortion and safety measures that protect women.

Protesters gather outside the legislative building to protest the abortion bill passed by the Senate Wednesday morning.
Jessica Jones

A bill that would require abortion clinics in North Carolina to have the same building codes and standards as ambulatory surgery centers has received final approval from the state Senate.  All of Planned Parenthood's clinics in North Carolina would not meet those standards.

NC Legislative building
NC General Assembly

Lawmakers in the state Senate have tentatively passed a measure that would require all abortion clinics to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers.

The rules that would regulate abortion clinics were inserted Tuesday evening into another bill prohibiting the application of foreign laws in state courtrooms. The proposed regulations also include a measure requiring a physician to be present during an abortion. That could make it complicated for doctors to provide non-surgical abortions in which patients take pills to end a pregnancy.

The North Carolina Legislative Building
Dave Crosby / flickr

Lawmakers in the state House have passed a bill that would require seventh graders and above to learn that abortions are a risk factor for pre-term births.

A Democratic representative introduced an amendment to the bill that called abortion and other factors risks rather than causes. The amendment passed.

NC House
Jessica Jones

Lawmakers in the state House have tentatively passed a bill that would require students in grade seven and higher to learn that abortion is a preventable cause of pre-term birth.

Republican Edgar Starnes spoke in support of the bill earlier today, saying the more information students have, the better.

The IPAS logo
Ipas

  Forty years ago, the controversial supreme court decision Roe Versus Wade ushered in a new era of reproductive rights and touched off a culture war that has waged ever since.

A crowd od protesters in Miami rallies against the confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito, who opposes abortion.
Danny Hammontree

Host Frank Stasio speaks to a panel of experts to discuss the fight over abortion legislation in North Carolina. Jessica Jones is WUNC’s Capitol Bureau Chief; Suzanne Buckley is the Executive Director of NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) Pro-Choice North Carolina; Tami Fitzgerald is the executive director of North Carolina Values Coalition; and Erika Levi is an OB/GYN and abortion provider in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

NC House
Jessica Jones

State lawmakers in the House have passed a bill that would prohibit some health plans from offering abortion coverage.

NC Legislative Building
Dave DeWitt

A bill that would make public educators teach students that abortions can cause preterm births is headed to the state Senate floor.

It’s one of a raft of measures introduced this session aimed at restricting and reducing the number of abortions. Senate Bill 132 would require health instructors teaching students in the seventh grade and older to include information about what the bill calls “preventable causes of preterm birth, including induced abortion.”

A judge has ruled that anti-abortion license plates will not be allowed in North Carolina until there is an option for people with an opposing view.

U.S. District Court Judge James C. Fox ruled that the government cannot allow for speech on just one side of an issue. The General Assembly passed a bill last year allowing license plates that said "Choose Life" to be sold. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a law suit last year. Chris Brook is Legal Director of the ACLU in North Carolina.

Intimate Wars

Jul 24, 2012

An experience early in Merle Hoffman’s career as a counselor solidified her life’s mission.  She was asked to speak to and comfort a woman who was struggling with the decision to have an abortion. Holding that woman’s hand on that difficult day started Hoffman on the path of advocating for the reproductive rights of women everywhere.

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union are among several groups who filed a federal lawsuit today opposing new restrictions on abortions in North Carolina. The new state law requires women undergo specific counseling, view an ultrasound, and wait 24 hours before having an abortion. The groups argue that violates the free speech and due process rights of health care providers and women seeking abortions. Donna Burkett is Medical Director for Planned Parenthood Health Systems.

Anti-Abortion License Plate
ncchoose-life.org

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina is filing a federal lawsuit alleging the state's adoption of "Choose Life" license plates is unconstitutional on the grounds that a pro-choice alternative isn't offered. Katherine Lewis Parker is a Legal Director at the ACLU.

Women in North Carolina will soon be required to undergo state counseling, an ultrasound and a 24-hour waiting period before getting an abortion. That’s according to a new law passed yesterday by state legislators. The governor had vetoed the “Woman’s Right to Know Act” during the regular legislative session, but the North Carolina House overrode that veto yesterday by one vote.

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