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 lawmakers are definitely hostile to abortion now, as shown by the many restrictions added since 2011, the limited number of abortion clinics, the limited areas which have clinics, and legislature funneling taxpayer money to anti-abortion organizations and individual CPCs. All this despite how safe abortion is. This is the status of abortion in North Carolina in March 2021, and how it could be improved.
Women Are Watching – House Gallery at Legislative Building in Raleigh, Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga
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.
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.
North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #5 – 1 March 2021
A Human Life Amendment to the North Carolina State Constitution (HB158) has been introduced. Some versions of this amendment stipulate that human life begins with implantation, that is, when a fertilized egg implants on the lining of the uterus. But this amendment is much more drastic. It provides that human life begins at fertilization, before a fertilized egg reaches the uterus. In short, this amendment would define human life as beginning before pregnancy. The intent of Human Life Amendments is to effectively outlaw all abortions.
North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #3 15 February 2021
The third North Carolina Legislative Update of 2021 gives updates on the child marriage bills in the NC House and Senate, the Ratify ERA bill, legislation to allow some people to carry concealed weapons in the legislative building! The main addition here is riveting testimony from a passionate pro-choice woman in SC on the Fetal Heartbeat bill introduced as Senate Bill 1. NC has one also, as pointed out in the first North Carolina NOW Legistative Update of 2021. See whole new report at North Carolina NOW Legislative Update 3.15 February 2021.
Wondering about the future of abortion access in NC? Anti-abortion lawmakers dominate the legislative leadership and the Supreme Court of the United States. What happens in NC if Roe falls? What other options do we have? How can we help get access to other options? Triangle NOW chapters hosted a panel of experts via Zoom on January 27th, and you can watch it any time at the link in this post.
Panelists: Tara Romano, Dr. Carrie Baker, Gailya Paliga
North Carolina NOW Legislative Update 1 February 2021
The North Carolina General Assembly is back in session. That means, pay attention because your life, your liberties, and your rights are on the line.
Two of the biggest issues this long session will deal with are the state budget (with many bitter battles on many fronts) and reapportionment. The census data from the 2020 census will be available in early April, and new lines for Congressional districts will be drawn based on that data. North Carolina is expected to add a new Congressional seat this year, increasing our representatives from 13 to 14. Expect lots of gerrymandering followed by a rash of court cases.