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.
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.
This week saw the introduction of what is probably an historic number of bills to protect LGBTQ rights. All are much needed and way overdue. Bills further restricting women’s reproductive rights were also introduced.
The first anti-abortion bill was filed in North Carolina within days of the start of the 2021 legislative session, as reported inNC NOW Legislative Update #1 in 2021 – 2/1/21. It is a six week abortion ban, HB31, known in politics as a “fetal heartbeat ban.” There is a special deceptiveness with the six week abortion ban.
First of all, six weeks of gestation is really four weeks after fertilization. This ban would kick in before most women know they are pregnant – about a month after fertilization.