North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #3
15 February 2021
The third North Carolina Legislative Update of 2021 gives updates on the child marriage bills in the NC House and Senate, the Ratify ERA bill, legislation to allow some people to carry concealed weapons in the legislative building! The main addition here is riveting testimony from a passionate pro-choice woman in SC on the Fetal Heartbeat bill introduced as Senate Bill 1. NC has one also, as pointed out in the first North Carolina NOW Legistative Update of 2021. See whole new report at North Carolina NOW Legislative Update 3.15 February 2021.
Important bills concerning child marriage (HB41 and SB41) have been introduced with bipartisan support. The same bill has been introduced in both the House and the Senate. Under current law 16-year-old minors may marry with parental consent and 14-year-old children may marry if there has been cohabitation, pregnancy, or a child born to the parties. This scandalous law allows sexual abuse of minors provided that the abuse is followed by marriage. Without marriage, North Carolina law treats sex acts with children by adults as felonious sexual assault. North Carolina has the dubious distinction of being tied with Alaska as the state that allows child marriage at the youngest age. This proposed revision to the law would raise the marriage age to 18 with no exceptions. For more information, see: https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/537390-north-carolina-state-legislators-introduce-bill-to-end-child-marriage.
We are happy to report that the bill to ratify the ERA in North Carolina is now co-sponsored by all Democrats in the North Carolina House.
The South Carolina state Senate has passed a fetal heartbeat bill and the bill is expected to easily pass the South Carolina House. One witness, Melissa Anne Cunningham Sereque, dramatically displayed and discussed the instrument inserted into the woman in order to detect cellular electrical impulses that the sponsors of the bill falsely label a “fetal heartbeat.” She could barely contain her rage about the content of the bill and the misleading testimony offered by those who supported it, including the Lt. Governor who was sitting directly behind her to hear her rebuke. Here a link to her testimony. She is speaking rapidly because she is allotted only 3 minutes for her presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jj3qWOX6afQ&feature=youtu.be
In response to the insurrection at the national Capitol on January 6, a bill has been introduced (HB47) that would allow legislators and some others to carry concealed weapons in the legislative building. We may be seeing gunfights on Jones St.
See this summary with listing of bills of interest at North Carolina NOW Legislative Update 3.15 February 2021.