Tonight the Senate voted to pass its version of House Bill 465.
The version of the bill passed by the House last month includes extending the mandatory delay for women seeking an abortion from 24 hours to 72 hours. Such a delay has no medical basis, and in fact contradicts recommendations from the World Health Organization. The bill also requires doctors to submit detailed, private information including ultrasound pictures, to the to the Department of Health and Human Services — for no medical reason. These provisions would make North Carolina one of only a handful of states in the country to have such extreme and intrusive abortion restrictions.
In a politically motivated move, the Senate expanded the bill to include provisions that would toughen statutory rape and sex offender laws and provide stronger protection for victims of domestic violence. During last week’s committee hearing, Senator Jeff Jackson urged the committee to separate the criminal justice items into their own bill, but Senate Republicans voted against the amendment.
What we are left with is an extreme, anti-choice bill that will harm women in this state.
HB 465 will now be considered in the House, where it may be amended or passed in its current form. If passed, it will head to Governor McCrory’s desk.
Governor McCrory demonstrated great courage last week with his vetoes of the magistrate recusal bill and the “Ag Gag” bill. We are hopeful that he will veto HB 465, if it reaches his desk. In his 2012 campaign, the Governor vowed that he would not approve any more restrictions on a woman’s right to abortion. We look forward to seeing him keep that promise.
We urge all pro-choice North Carolinians to sign the petition reminding Governor McCrory about his 2012 campaign promise not to allow further restrictions on abortion access. The Governor must veto House Bill 465.