North Carolina NOW Legislative Update
1 February 2021
The North Carolina General Assembly is back in session. That means, pay attention because your life, your liberties, and your rights are on the line.
Two of the biggest issues this long session will deal with are the state budget (with many bitter battles on many fronts) and reapportionment. The census data from the 2020 census will be available in early April, and new lines for Congressional districts will be drawn based on that data. North Carolina is expected to add a new Congressional seat this year, increasing our representatives from 13 to 14. Expect lots of gerrymandering followed by a rash of court cases.
Bills for North Carolina to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution have already been introduced in both the House (HB 8) and Senate (SB15). North Carolina NOW will participate in the big push to finally get ratification through this year. NC NOW is a proud member of the ERA-NC Alliance, a statewide coalition of groups advocating for the ERA.
On the down side, opponents to women’s reproductive rights have introduced their first bill to restrict abortion rights, a so called “fetal heartbeat” bill (HB31). This bill is a de facto ban on all abortions because faint cardiac activity can be detected at six to seven weeks of pregnancy—generally before a woman even knows she is pregnant, and also before the organism is a fetus.
Read more about the anti-abortion bill and possible plan, a long-overdue bill (HB33) to give same-sex couples equal protection in instances of domestic violence, and the bills to ratify ERA in NC in the North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #1, 2/1/21.