NC NOW Legislative Update #11.15 April 19 includes the summary and listing of NC Senate and House bills.
A terrible abortion bill, SB359/HB602, Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, is on the fast-track to be ratified. The underlying premise of the bill, that infants showing signs of life after an attempted abortion are either actively killed or left to die, is outrageous and false. If such thing were to happen, the action would be covered by existing murder and infanticide laws.
North Carolina law bans abortion after 20 weeks with narrow exceptions. Abortions after a fetus becomes viable (around 24 weeks) are extremely rare. In North Carolina, according to the State Center for Health Statistics, there were only two abortions after 20 weeks in the years 2016 and 2017 (one in each year). Yet abortion opponents persist in attempting to create the impression that late-term abortions are frequent and that murder of babies born alive is epidemic.
The real tragedy is that most late-term abortions represent the loss of a wanted child. The decision to terminate a wanted pregnancy is horrendous and done only in cases of fetal abnormality incompatible with life or extreme danger to the mother in continuing the pregnancy.
During a committee hearing in the House, Senator Terry Van Dyne called the bill “a political stunt” and was visibly angry. We have to agree with her. For more information about the issue and coverage of the committee hearing, see https://www.northcarolinahealthnews.org/2019/04/11/abortion-survivors-bill-gets-emotional-hearing-at-ncga/
The only chance for stopping this unnecessary and misleading bill from becoming law is a governor’s veto.
Since the state of New York has passed an abortion law that our North Carolina Republicans do not approve of, a resolution roundly condemning it has been introduced, HJR627: NC Response/Extreme Abortion on Demand Policy.
House Republicans introduced their proposal for expanding Medicaid—only they object to calling it “Medicaid expansion.” The bill, HB 655, NC Health Care for Working Families, emphasizes a work requirement as does the more restrictive Senate proposal, SB 387, Medicaid Work and Community Engagement Opportunity. These proposals come when similar laws with work requirements for Medicaid recipients (most of whom are children) are being rejected by courts. For more information on why a work requirement for Medicaid recipients is bad policy, see: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2019/04/10/gop-medicaid-bill-takes-a-massive-step-in-the-wrong-direction/. The Governor has included a more reasonable proposal for expanding Medicaid in his budget, but has not said that he would veto a budget that does not contain Medicaid expansion in one form or another.
-Robin Davis, NC NOW VP
See the full report, including summary and listing of bills at NC NOW Legislative Update #11.15 April 19.