The second NC NOW Legislative Update is available as of 2/11/19. Some bad news is the war on women’s reproductive rights has begun with the introduction of two threatening bills. Some good news is that bills were introduced to test the backlog of untested rape kits statewide, to address a problem of sexual abuse of children, and to address a domestic violence. Plus there are bills on Silent Sam controversy. The summary is here. Find the whole NC NOW Legislative Update at North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #2 – 11 February 2019.
The war on women’s reproductive rights has begun with the introduction of two threatening bills.
The first is HB 22, misnamed the Woman’s Right to Know Act. This bill would require a physician to misinform a woman seeking a medical abortion that the procedure is reversible—something not supported by any scientific study. The so-called “reversal” procedure is successful in fewer than half of the cases and may be only slightly more effective than not following through with the second step of the two-step procedure. Long-term effects are not known. For more information: see https://slate.com/technology/2018/04/abortion-reversal-seems-possible-but-we-shouldnt-promote-it.html.
The second bill (HB28) would ban all abortions after 13 weeks. North Carolina law presently bans abortion after 20 weeks. If passed, it would be the most restrictive law not blocked by a court injunction. For more information, see https://www.wral.com/gop-seeks-new-abortion-restrictions-in-nc/18174574/.
Last session did not address abortion bills, and it is not clear if there would be enough votes this session to override a veto by the governor. We will monitor both bills closely, and pro-choice advocates should contact their legislators to let them know that they oppose both bills.
There is good news, too, this week. A bill (HB29) has been introduced to require testing of the backlog of more than 15,000 untested rape kits statewide and seeking funding to begin the process. For more background information, see https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article225192005.html.
An important bill (HB37) addresses a serious problem for women and men who suffered sexual abuse as children by extending the statute of limitations for filing a civil suit until the victim reaches the age of 45.
There is also a significant bill (HB41) that addresses domestic violence by establishing a pilot program allowing the use of a GPS tracking device on a person who has committed acts of domestic violence and appropriates funds.
Two bills address the Silent Sam Confederate monument controversy. The first (SB19=HB10) would repeal the 2015 law that prohibits removing Confederate monuments and transferring them to another location. The second bill (HB20) would authorize the UNC Chancellor to remove a monument from the campus and transfer it to the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to be placed in a cemetery for Confederate soldiers.
See whole NC NOW Legislative Update summary and bill listing and status at North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #2 – 11 February 2019.