North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #16 – 17 May 2021

North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #16 – 17 May 2021

There was a lot of frantic activity at the legislature this week because Thursday was the crossover deadline.  A bill must pass either the House or the Senate before the crossover deadline to remain alive.  There are exceptions, most notably appropriations bills (any bill that contains an appropriation), but generally this rule holds true.  The two very bad abortion bills are still alive and a handful of good bills made the deadline. 

House Bill 453 would prohibit abortion due to the race of the fetus, the gender of the fetus, or the presence or suspected presence of Down Syndrome.  Under existing law a woman may choose whether or not to confide her reasons for having an abortion to her doctor without consequences; and if she does confide in the physician, there is no requirement for him or her to take any action.  House Bill 453 would change all that.  If the physician learns the patient is seeking an abortion for a prohibited reason, services must be denied.  A physician providing an abortion procedure must record in writing whether his patient has had any genetic testing or any other testing that would reveal the gender of the fetus or the presence of Down Syndrome and also state that to his knowledge the patient is not having an abortion for any of the prohibited reasons. The physician must then submit this confidential medical information along with an ultrasound to the Department of Health and Human Services. 

ACTION:  Call your Senator’s office immediately and let him or her know that you strongly object to House Bill 453. Use “Act NOW to Stop NC Anti-Abortion Bill HB453 – Onus on Doctors to Question Women, Document Reasons!” for more information, ideas on what to say (script), finding your Senator.

Senate Bill 405 has passed the Senate and is presently in the House Rules Committee.  This bill is based on the false premises that the abortion procedure regularly results in live births, that doctors who perform abortions routinely murder born alive babies, and that killing a born alive child is not already murder under existing laws—a classic case of a solution to a problem that does not exist.  Anti-abortion groups routinely label doctors who perform abortions “murderers,” and this bill panders to that slanderous falsehood.  This bill is built on a foundation of false facts and must be opposed.

ACTION:  Call your House Member’s office immediately to express your strong opposition to Senate Bill 405. Use same action as above to find NC Senator.

Senate Bill 35 setting the minimum age for marriage was surprisingly amended on the Senate floor at the last minute to ban marriage under the age of 16.  Before the amendment marriage in North Carolina could occur under certain circumstances as young as age 14.  The amended bill has passed the Senate.

Finally, House Bill 608 has passed the House.  This bill sets forth standards and requirements for the care and treatment of incarcerated women during pregnancy and post-partum, including a provision that prohibits using restraints (shackles) on women in labor.

See whole report at North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #16 – 17 May 2021

Take action against HB453 here.


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