With the slew of abortion-related legislation being floated, voted and passed all over the country, it should come as no surprise that another southern state has entered the fray against the right for a woman to choose.
What should come as a surprise is the method used.
North Carolina has pending legislation to ban Islamic law, which is a story unto itself. However, this legislation also has several anti-abortion provisions that could result in leaving only one clinic in the entire state open for business.
In a story filed by The Raw Story, Sarah Preston of the ACLU in North Carolina, stated,
“This attempted sneak attack on women’s reproductive rights is absolutely shameful. Issues as vital and personal as access to comprehensive health care and doctor-patient relationships deserve to be debated in an open, public process – not hastily pushed through without notice and under the cover of night during a holiday week.”
The measure, known officially as HB695, was initially filed for the utterly useless purpose of keeping Sharia law and other forms of foreign justice out of family court. However, on 02 July 2013, the North Carolina Senate Judiciary committee added six, totally unrelated anti-abortion measures at the tail end of the day, right before it was sent for vote on the Senate floor.
Democratic Senator Kay Hagen stated she was appalled at the use o what she called 'procedural tricks' by the GOP.
According to the story, the provisions attached to the Sharia bill,
“…would now allow any health care provider to opt out of providing abortion-related services, prohibit health plans offered through federal health care exchanges from offering abortion coverage, outlaw sex-selection abortions, require doctors to stay in the room during the entire abortion procedure, force abortion clinics to obtain patient-transfer agreements with local hospitals, and mandate that abortion clinics meet the same stringent standards as outpatient surgical centers.”
Preston, still speaking for the ACLU NC, stated,
“These loathsome restrictions and the deceitful method through which the Senate tried to pass them are an obvious effort to not simply prevent women in North Carolina from having comprehensive access to much-needed health care, but to not even give them an opportunity to weigh in on legislation that will have wide-ranging impacts on women and doctors all across our state.”
Another opponent of these provisions is Suzanne Buckley of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, who stated,
“The politicians who responsible for this backdoor maneuvering have taken seriously the rising tide of activists gathering weekly outside the General Assembly to oppose anti-choice legislation. Unfortunately, the lesson they’ve taken is that the best way to accomplish their goals is to hide their maneuvers from the public.”
Republican Senator Warren Daniel, who supports the anti-abortion measures, stated his belief that clinics providing abortion services should be regulated the same as surgical centers.
Currently, only one such clinic exists in the state.