Last Monday, after a long fight against anti-choice Senate Bill 353 (in all its forms,) Governor McCrory abandoned his campaign promise and signed into law a set of sweeping abortion restrictions.
The provision that has received the most attention is the granting of rule-making authority to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The law authorizes DHHS to create new regulations that only apply to abortion providers. We will not know for several months what these regulations will be or how they will impact abortion providers in NC. What we do know is that legislation like SB 353 is part of an anti-choice agenda designed to shut down clinics and restrict access to safe and legal abortion care. Indeed, just two days after Gov. McCrory signed S.B.353 into law, DHHS officials suspended the license of Femcare, an abortion provider in Asheville, citing noncompliance with “existing rules.” We are working with our allies to help Femcare get up and running as soon as possible and we will be challenging this legislation in the courts.
It’s been an exhausting, frustrating and at times infuriating summer, but together we have started something great. Together, we stood in the galleries and halls of the General Assembly, at Moral Mondays, and outside the Governor’s Mansion. Together, tens of thousands strong, we fought back against these extreme attacks and sent a message to extreme North Carolina lawmakers and the nation that this is not the North Carolina we are proud to call home.
This is not the end, but rather just the beginning. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be unveiling our campaign to hold accountable those lawmakers who have turned their backs on North Carolina women and families. We look forward to sharing these plans with you and continuing our work together in the weeks and months to come.
The Team at NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina