North Carolina NOW Legislative Update 12 April 2021
This week saw the introduction of two terrible bills. The religious right has had so much success on the medical front passing laws to regulate abortion and abortion providers, they have decided to widen the scope of their activities to deny trans youth medical care (SB 514). The second bill (SB 515) would legalize medical discrimination across the board by introducing a bill that would allow doctors and other medical personnel along with hospitals and other medical practices to deny medical care to anyone for conscientious reasons. It is worthwhile to examine these two bills in detail because they provide important insight into the kind of world these religious extremists desire.
There are so many important and interesting articles, we don’t want to lose track of them. In North Carolina, we have the lobbyist involved in the fundraiser being former Raleigh mayor Tom Fetzer, who told contacts that the fundraiser recipient could succeed House speaker Tim Moore. The 2 year anniversary of the murders at UNC-Charlotte is coming up on April 30 – victim/hero Riley Howell’s mom wrote an excellent op-ed after mass murders in March – people want change. A four-year federal investigation into longstanding Republican claims of voter fraud in North Carolina ended – and found nothing. Young congressman Madison Cawthorn touts the Covid relief funds helping his constituents, although he did not vote for them.
Many of these articles were included in most recent mailchimp email from NC NOW – if you want to receive the emails, fill in a volunteer form and put ‘Add me to email list” and other ways you want to be involved in the ‘What do you want to do’ note.
This week saw the introduction of what is probably an historic number of bills to protect LGBTQ rights. All are much needed and way overdue. Bills further restricting women’s reproductive rights were also introduced.
Chapel Hill National Organization for Women
March 18, 2021
To our Asian American Sisters and all Asian American Communities:
We extend our hands and our hearts to our Asian American sisters in their grief stemming from the murders in Atlanta. There is never a reason or an explanation sufficient to justify this violence against women or violence directed toward a group in American society.
The inevitable has finally happened. North Carolina Republican legislators have jumped on board the voter suppression train. Senate Bill 326, misleadingly titled the Election Integrity Act, is a measure that would restrict voting by absentee ballot in a variety of ways. In short, it is a voter suppression bill. Significantly, the restrictions do not apply to military or overseas voters.
North Carolina lawmakers are definitely hostile to abortion now, as shown by the many restrictions added since 2011, the limited number of abortion clinics, the limited areas which have clinics, and legislature funneling taxpayer money to anti-abortion organizations and individual CPCs. All this despite how safe abortion is. This is the status of abortion in North Carolina in March 2021, and how it could be improved.
Women Are Watching – House Gallery at Legislative Building in Raleigh, Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga
A group of bipartisan lawmakers reintroduced the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) on March 8th, 2021. VAWA would provide funding and grants for a variety of programs that tackle domestic abuse. VAWA’s authorization lapsed in 2018. The House passed legislation to reauthorize the measure in 2019 with the support of a handful of GOP lawmakers, but a lesser bill was put forth in the Senate and neither bill moved. More on the situation in The Hill. You can take action now to help it move forward!
There is progress on the ERA and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA). We are receiving updates on the ERA bill from a NOW taskforce on ERA as well as our homegrown ERA-NC Alliance, of which NC NOW is a part. The House is planning to vote on removing the ERA time limit and also on the improved Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) the same day.