North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #11 – 12 April 2021

North Carolina NOW Legislative Update
12 April 2021

This week saw the introduction of two terrible bills.  The religious right has had so much success on the medical front passing laws to regulate abortion and abortion providers, they have decided to widen the scope of their activities to deny trans youth medical care (SB 514). The second bill (SB 515) would legalize medical discrimination across the board by introducing a bill that would allow doctors and other medical personnel along with hospitals and other medical practices to deny medical care to anyone for conscientious reasons.  It is worthwhile to examine these two bills in detail because they provide important insight into the kind of world these religious extremists desire.

The main object of Senate Bill 514, “Youth Health Protection Act”, is to ban health care providers from providing gender-affirming health care to trans youth.  However, the bill itself defines “minor” as anyone under 21 years old.  This article gives a good overview of why this kind of care is necessary and why bills such as this one are destructive:  https://healthlaw.org/gender-affirming-care-for-youth-is-good-health-care/.  However, the bill also prevents the state funds from being used for this purpose and even prohibits state-provided insurance from covering it.

But the most disturbing provision of SB 514 is the section entitled “Protection of Parental Rights.”  This section requires anyone employed by the state or a local government to immediately report in writing to each of the “parents, guardians or custodians” if a minor under their care has exhibited “symptoms of gender dysphoria, gender nonconformity, or otherwise demonstrates a desire to be treated in a manner incongruent with the minor’s sex.”  This is broad language indeed.  “Gender nonconformity,” can be defined as “exhibiting behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits that do not conform with traits typically associated with one’s gender.”  It is reasonable to assume that young feminists must be ratted out for not exhibiting the subservience stereotypically expected of the female gender. 

Senate Bill, 515, “Health Care Heroes Conscience Protection Act.“ would allow health care providers and health care institutions to refuse medical care to anyone if doing so would violate their conscience, very broadly defined.  Hospitals could also refuse care to anyone whose lifestyle or sexual orientation violates their conscience (according to this bill medical institutions have consciences, too).  The main target is trans individuals, but patients in need of care related to birth control or abortion could also be refused care. 

Even more outrageous, it would allow insurance companies the right to refuse to pay for any care that outrages their corporate consciences.  An insurance company would also have the right to refuse to pay for birth control medications, devices, or procedures for conscientious reasons.  This bill gives insight into what religious extremists believe laws should be.

See whole legislative update, including summary and bills we are tracking, at https://northcarolinanow.files.wordpress.com/2021/04/north_carolina_now_legislative_update_11.12_april_2021.v2.pdf

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