We thought last week was rough, who could have guessed they would pull the same trick on us twice. Here’s what happened this morning regarding HB 695 and SB 353:
At 10:00 this morning, the House Judiciary Committee met to consider a series of bills, among them, SB 353, a motorcycle safety bill. They gutted that bill, and added a series of provisions that transformed it into an anti-choice bill. There was no mention of an anti-abortion bill on today’s House calendar, so there was no advanced warning to the public or to pro-choice advocates about this morning’s debate.
Here’s what the “new” bill would do:
- Allow any health care provider, not just doctors and nurses, to opt out of participating in abortion procedures
- Prohibit health plans offered on the exchange established under the federal Affordable Care Act from offering coverage for abortion.
- Prohibit cities and counties from offering coverage for abortions in health plans they offer their employees.
- Prohibit abortions where sex-selection is a significant factor in a woman’s decision .
- Require physicians to be present for the entire abortion procedure, even if the doctor would not be in the room during a comparable medical procedure.
- Ask the Department of Health and Human Services to write regulations for abortion clinics similar to those for ambulatory surgery centers.
Sound familiar? All of the above provisions (except the last one) are identical to the measures outlined in HB 695.
The Governor announced this morning that he could not support HB 695 unless it was significantly changed. He has not made an official statement about SB 353, but proponents of the bill claim they negotiated with the Governor to make the bill more amenable.
Needless to say, SB 353, or as we are calling it, The Sneak Attack Act, is no better than HB 695. It is still a bill designed to limit women’s access to safe and legal abortion, by any means necessary.
The bill will be debated Thursday (tomorrow) starting at 11:00. We’re telling supporters to show up at the General Assembly by 10:00 to ensure that they have a seat in the gallery for the floor debate and vote in the House. If you can make it, we would love to have you. RSVP on Facebook.
We know many of you have already been to Raleigh every day this week standing up for NC women and families. If you can’t be there tomorrow, there are some things you can still do.
- Call Governor McCrory 919-814-2000 & Speaker Tillis 919-733-3451
- Write a Letter to the Editor of your local paper.
We can’t thank you enough for your support, stay tuned for more updates tomorrow about the bill.