North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #6 – 8 March 2021
This week a bill to eliminate some major impediments to obtaining an abortion in North Carolina was introduced (HB188/SB167), Removing Barriers/Gain Access to Abortion Act, ”RBG Act”). The short title honors late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was a strong advocate for abortion rights.
North Carolina has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, though some other Southern states have laws that are even more restrictive. According to Rep. Julie von Haefen there are at least 15 barriers on the state law books impeding the path to obtaining an abortion. These laws have driven providers away and have made it unreasonably difficult for a woman to obtain abortion services.
The new law would remove four major barriers: (1) Allow nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and certified nurse midwives in addition to physicians to perform abortions; (2) Repeal the requirement for biased counseling and a 72-hour waiting period prior to obtaining an abortion; (3) Repeal the ban on insurance/funding for abortion care in Affordable Care Act plans in North Carolina (but federal funding of abortion is banned by the Hyde Amendment), in the state employee health plan, and in plans offered to municipal and county employees; and (4) Repeal the ban on abortions provided through telemedicine. None of these barriers are medically necessary and were enacted solely to make it more difficult for North Carolina women to obtain abortions. For more information, see: https://indyweek.com/news/northcarolina/rbg-act-nc-general-assembly/
Crossover Deadline: A crossover deadline is the date by which a bill must have passed at least one legislative house in order to stay alive. Bills that fail to pass one house by this deadline are dead for the session. This session the crossover deadline is Thursday, May 13. However, there are exceptions: bills with provisions related to finance or appropriations, constitutional amendments, appointments, or elections laws are exempt from the crossover deadline.
See whole report at North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #6.