North Carolina ‘conservatives’ are swiftly moving an abortion-restrictions bill through the state House this week, saying the legislation would protect both civil rights and people with disabilities. But that’s not true. In fact, leading disability justice groups, like Disability Rights NC, oppose this bill. This is yet another bill with an inflammatory title, Human Life Non-Discrimination/No Eugenics Act (HB453,) which would prohibit abortion on account of the actual or presumed racial identity of the fetus and in cases where Down syndrome is detected or suspected. What House Bill 453 actually does is set up a process to force physicians to formally question and document women’s reasons for getting abortions, while ignoring real discrimination against people with disabilities. It also makes public records of these statements and the doctors performing abortions with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in addition to ultrasounds, which are already being sent to DHHS for abortions done after the sixteenth week of a woman’s pregnancy.
This bill is being rushed through the NC legislature. The NC House Judicial committee fast tracked this bill. According to NC Policy Watch, 5/6/21, “Emboldened by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in April to overturn a lower court decision that blocked a similar 2018 law in Ohio, bill supporters moved the bill through two House committees in two days.” On May 6, the NC House did all 3 votes on the bill the same day. Now it goes to the NC Senate, and if they pass it as expected, it will go to Governor Cooper.
NC ‘conservatives’ introduced questioning of motives of women getting abortions into law when they made up a problem of sex selective abortions and passed a bill to stop this fake problem – sex selective abortions. HB453 updates the sex selective part of the law to claim that women are practicing eugenics with their abortions, and their ploy is that physicians must check every woman’s motives to guard against that, and document women’s reasons for abortions!
Current law says the following on forcing physicians to send records on pregnant women getting abortions to DHHS.
“A qualified physician who advises, procures, or causes a miscarriage or abortion after the sixteenth week of a woman’s pregnancy shall record all of the following: the method used by the qualified physician to determine the probable gestational age of the unborn child at the time the procedure is to be performed; the results of the methodology, including the measurements of the unborn child”
Later in the post, we show the actual current law and changes proposed in HB453 to see how terrible these changes are. First, there are more general points and how to contact your representatives. When you call and/or write lawmakers, make sure to include your name and say that you are a constituent when writing your personal representatives. If you call – leave a message if no one answers. The bill number is HB453 for both House and Senate.
Step 1: Educate yourself and share what you’ve learned with others. Read this action for that and the script.
Read this action for that. There is more information in NC NOW Legislative Updates, including NC NOW Legislative Update #10. This bill is part of a national effort to restrict abortions. More on that at “States passed 28 antiabortion bills in 4 days. Here’s what to know about the surge in legislation.” 5/4/21, The Lily. Multiple bills have been proposed this session in North Carolina to further restrict abortion, earlier anti-abortion bills in “Women’s History Month: Status of Abortion in NC in 2021,” 4/5/21, WomenAdvanceNC.
Step 2: Contact your NC House representative and NC Senator to state your opposition to anti-abortion bill HB453
How do I find out who represents me in the North Carolina General Assembly?
Use this site for identifying your state senator and NC House representative (same bill number HB453): https://www.ncleg.gov/FindYourLegislators
Put your home address in as your address. You will find contact information including office phone, email, and mailing address in Raleigh.
Whether you call or write, be sure to identify yourself as a constituent and a member of NC NOW and deliver your message of opposition to HB 453. Same bill number for House and Senate.
You might say,
Hi, my name is (state your name). I live in (city or town in NC) in your district and am a member of NC NOW. I strongly oppose HB 453, and I’m calling to ask you to vote against it. It calls into question every women’s decision to have an abortion. It doesn’t address discrimination. Rather, it forces physicians to interrogate patients on their reasons for having abortions, and to document certain testing and reasons. This interferes with relationships between patients and doctors.
HB 453 does not address discrimination nor the needs of people of color, people with disabilities, nor people with Down syndrome, and leading disability justice groups, like Disability Rights NC, oppose this bill.
What HB453 does is force physicians to interrogate patients on reasons for abortions. It interferes with the relationship between patients and their doctors. And it forces doctors to document those reasons with the state along with women’s personal and intimate medical information.
If we hope to truly prevent discrimination, then vote against HB 453, and focus the NCGA’s efforts on the actual priorities and needs of people with disabilities and communities of color, like expanding Medicaid, increasing services and resources for North Carolinians with disabilities, and reducing the astronomical maternal mortality rate for Black North Carolinians.
If you prefer to use your own words, go for it! Just be sure to identify yourself as a constituent, identify the bill, and keep your message short.
Your calls and letters to stop this can help. If the NC House passes this, we will call NC Senate. Then the next calls go to Governor Cooper.
Step 3: Expand the impact after contacting your state legislator.
Use social media to tell others that you made that contact!
Write a letter to the editor of your local paper to talk about your opposition to these anti-abortion bills and why it is important.
Directions for submitting a letter are generally found on the Opinion Page of your newspaper.
Step 4: Let people know you got published!
Please tell us if you write and/or get a letter to the editor (LTE) or op-ed published. We would like to link to your article from our website and post on social media, etc, to amplify the message.
Thank you for acting now to
Stop The State From Forcing Doctors From Formally Interrogating Women
On Reasons For Abortions And Documenting These With State
Below you can see actual changes proposed in HB453.
Note: the numbers at the beginning are line numbers from House Bill 453-Second Edition Page 2 to help you find text if you look:
27 “§ 90-21.121. Sex-selective abortion Eugenic abortions prohibited.
28 (a) Notwithstanding any of the provisions of G.S. 14-45.1, no person shall perform or
29 attempt to perform an abortion upon a woman in this State with knowledge, or an objective reason
30 to know, that a significant factor in the woman seeking the abortion is related to the
34 sex of the unborn child.
36 (b) Nothing in this section shall be construed as placing an affirmative duty on a physician
37 to inquire as to whether the sex of the unborn child is a significant factor in the pregnant woman
38 seeking the abortion.
Note also the wording they have introduced into North Carolina law since 2010 – that an embryo or a fetus is an unborn child.
Notice in the current law (lines 36-38 above) they say it is NOT the physicians duty to figure out if sex is the reason for the abortion. Lines 36-38 about physician’s duty are deleted in HB453.
HB 453 proposes:
“§ 90-21.121. Eugenic abortions prohibited.
28 (a) Notwithstanding any of the provisions of G.S. 14-45.1, no person shall perform or
29 attempt to perform an abortion upon a woman in this State, unless the physician who is
31 scheduled to perform or attempt to perform the abortion has confirmed before the
32 abortion that the woman is not seeking an abortion because of any of the following:
33 (1) The actual or presumed race or racial makeup of the unborn child.
34 (2) The sex of the unborn child.
35 (3) The presence or presumed presence of Down syndrome.
They removed the part about the physician not being responsible to grill the woman for her reasons for abortion and replace it with
44 “(b1) A qualified physician who advises, procures, or causes a miscarriage or abortion after
45 the sixteenth week of a woman’s pregnancy shall record all of the following: the method used by
46 the qualified physician to determine the probable gestational age of the unborn child at the time
47 the procedure is to be performed; the results of the methodology, including the measurements of
48 the unborn child; whether the race, sex, or presence or presumption of Down syndrome in the
49 unborn child had been detected prior to the abortion by any type of genetic testing or ultrasound,
50 or by any other form of testing; a statement by the physician confirming that the woman did not
51 tell the physician and the physician has reason to believe that the woman did not seek the abortion
(House Bill 453-Second Edition Page 3)
1 because of the unborn child’s actual or presumed race or sex or the presence or presumed presence
2 of Down syndrome; probable health consequences of the abortion; and an ultrasound image of
3 the unborn child that depicts the measurements. The qualified physician shall provide this
4 information, including the ultrasound image, to the Department of Health and Human Services
5 pursuant to G.S. 14-45.1(c). The physician must provide a signature attesting that the information
6 contained in the report is true and correct to the best of the physician’s knowledge.
And they add:
39 (c) A person shall not intentionally or knowingly perform, induce, or attempt to perform
40 or induce an abortion of an unborn child if the abortion is being sought because of the actual or
41 presumed race or sex of the unborn child or because of the presence or presumed presence of
42 Down syndrome.”
More information on abortion restrictions:
Note: that what people call the sixteenth week of a woman’s pregnancy is at most the 14th week of being pregnant, since counting is from last period.
Why is the state tracking women’s ultrasounds? People believe anti-abortion contingents want the ultrasounds and information on probably gestational age so that at some point, a department would be set up to second guess doctors based on the records being stored at DHHS.
“Pointing to eugenics, North Carolina lawmakers move to further restrict abortion,” 5/5/21, https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/pointing-to-eugenics-north-carolina-lawmakers-move-to-further-restrict-abortion/ar-BB1goRMG
“NC House committee fast tracks bill further restricting abortion rights,” 5/6/21, NC Policy Watch, https://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2021/05/06/nc-house-committee-fast-tracks-bill-further-restricting-abortion-rights/