Governor McCrory breaks his campaign promise…again

On Wednesday evening, Governor McCrory stated that he planned on signing the controversial HB 465 when it reached his desk. The Governor’s statement came hours after the House voted 71 to 43 to make the bill, which includes a 72-hour abortion waiting period, law in North Carolina.

The Governor’s decision came as a shock to those who had trusted him to stay true to his word. During his 2012 campaign, McCrory promised he would not sign any additional restrictions on abortions into law. However in 2013, he signed a bill creating unnecessary regulations for abortion clinics and further restricting insurance coverage of abortions. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, it was expected that when faced with a blatant abortion restriction, the Governor would veto the bill. It is clear now that McCrory has no intention of keeping his campaign promise. He is happy with the revised version of the bill; he has declared that it will positively protect women’s health.

The HB 465 that the Governor plans to sign looks nothing like the bill that was first introduced in April, with one exception: the mandated 72-hour waiting period.

20150604_130241The initial version of the bill included strong restrictions on the ability of doctors and UNC system hospitals to perform safe abortions. The final version leaves out the restrictions on UNC but adds in tougher laws against statutory rape and sex offenses. It also adds protections for victims of domestic violence. With the second edition of the bill, it appeared that the Legislature had realized the error of their ways and the absurdity of preventing one of the best ob-gyn programs in the country from teaching this family planning skill. Unfortunately, that clarity did not last long. Within weeks, without providing a reason, the Republican-controlled Senate decided to dump unrelated criminal justice provisions into the bill.

Throughout all these revisions, the 3-day waiting period has remained unaltered in any way. The Governor’s expression of satisfaction makes it clear that he has no comprehension of the dangerous effects of a waiting period. Not only do they have no medical benefit and will do nothing to protect women’s health, but in fact waiting can have a negative impact on women, both physically and emotionally. Not to mention, that imposing a waiting period on women implies that they are overly emotional and incapable of making life-impacting decisions without being forced to have extra time to think about it. It is insulting that McCrory and the legislators who voted for the bill believe that North Carolina women are too irrational to make decisions about their own bodies without government hand-holding.

Well, Governor, fortunately we haven’t yet been considered too irrational to make our own voting decisions, and we will remember this when we go to the polls in 2016.

Governor McCrory must veto HB465

Anti-choice HB 465 one step closer to becoming law

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.


Veto #HB465! The People of North Carolina Deserve Better!

Lela Johnston, a Recent Alumna of NC State University and NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina Intern 

So we’re all clear, during a 2012 debate, our Governor Pat McCrory was asked, “If you’re elected governor, what further restrictions on abortion would you agree to sign?”. His one-word response? “None.”

Today, I speak to you as a native North Carolinian, as a graduate of Wake County Public School Systems, as a very recent alumna of North Carolina State University, as a former intern with NARAL North Carolina, as a woman, and as a human being, to ask Governor McCrory to keep that promise. HB 465 is bad medicine and bad politics. State-mandated waiting periods are medically unnecessary, intrusive, and demeaning.

The decision how and when to start a family should be my choice and my choice alone. Reproductive decisions extend far beyond the doctor’s office. A woman’s right to control her reproductive health is the most basic and critical element of her autonomy. Without this fundamental human right, my independence is threatened, and ultimately, political, economic, and social gender equality is still just a distant possibility.IMG_3335

And not only that, aren’t there more important issues our legislature should be focusing on? Expanding Medicaid, closing the wage gap, updating our transportation systems, raising the minimum wage, cleaning up the Dan River, improving our public schools, paying our teachers salaries they deserve, and ensuring that all those who wish to go to college can afford to do so, is just the short list. The people of North Carolina deserve better. I deserve better. I deserve to live in a state that allows me to make my own healthcare choices, free from coercion and intrusive regulation.

I may not have had a vote in HB 465, but I do have a voice. And, I’m here today to use that voice to urge our Governor to veto this harmful bill. Please keep your promise, Governor McCrory.  

Wilmington Native & Leader of Students United for Reproductive Justice at UNC Speaks Out Against #HB465

“Keep Your Promise, McCrory” tour stop in Wilmington: Speech by Cara Schumann, Leader of the group Students United for Reproductive Justice at UNC-Chapel Hill and Wilmington Native 

I’m here as a woman, as a student, leader of the group Students United for Reproductive Justice at UNC, and as a Wilmington Native to ask that Gov. Pat McCrory keep the campaign promise he made in 2012 to veto any bill that imposed abortion restrictions in North Carolina. And that is exactly what House Bill 465 is. It is a blatant attack on our ability to have choice as North Carolina women and our ability to have the futures we work towards by restricting abortion access in our state.


As a student at UNC-Chapel Hill I have been working toward my future for the past two years. And as a woman and a student I know that it is the guarantee of my ability to control my reproductive health that insures that I can have the future I want to. And it is the ability to choose when to have that a child that has allowed many women I know personally, to stay in school and work toward completing their educations rather than have to leave to care of a child they cannot afford.

It is this ability to be able to have choice that this HB 465 is working to take away. A 72-hour waiting period would ask women like me, and my friends, who are students to take three days away from our education and dedicate them to a procedure that shouldn’t take more than one visit.

It is asking the women of North Carolina with children, who are in poverty, who live in rural communities without one of the few abortion clinics we have near it to take away three days from their children, jobs, and communities and adding travel expenses to make an already expensive procedure even more costly. So costly that many women will not be able to afford to have a safe abortion in our state.

This bill is trying to punish those of us who are North Carolina women. I love our state. I love our town. And I feel betrayed that politicians in Raleigh care more about regulating bodies like mine then they do helping my community.

Helping it by perhaps expanding Medicaid and providing the much needed healthcare people need in our state.

Or maybe by restoring funding to education and helping improve our overburden10997995_976444985700622_8477324365546816402_ned school system and pay our teachers better than some of the lowest salaries in the entire country.

Or perhaps investing in our public university system, one of the best in the nation, and maintaining our systems affordability.

I demand, we demand, that Gov. Pat McCory keep his promises and veto House Bill 465. That rather than limit the rights of the women of North Carolina he protects our ability to choose. And our ability to have the futures we work for.

Thank you.

Women’s History Month Highlight: Susan Hill

Hannah Osborne, Campus Organizer at NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina 

Susan Hill, a Durham native, a social worker, an abortion provider, an advocate, and a resilient and compassionate human being, worked tirelessly for the reproductive freedom ALL women. Weeks after the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, Susan worked with others to start and open the doors of the first abortion clinic in Florida. She was a woman of action. In her lifetime, she defended the freedom of thousands of women. At NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, we work to protect and advance the reproductive rights of women and families in our state. Her work serves as daily inspiration for us. Susan left an incredible legacy. It is our goal to make her work a truly living legacy. So, on this final day of Women’s History Month, we honor, celebrate, and remember Susan Hill.

Susan Hill fought to secure the rights of all women. I am grateful for her efforts, and I am here to defend her work. Based on recent events, it is clear that we cannot take human rights for granted. Just last week our state legislature introduced Senate Bill 604, containing new restrictions on abortion providers. Roe V. Wade did more than grant me equality to decide what is best for my body, it secured my freedom. But it did not secure every woman’s freedom. Susan Hill understood that the right to have an abortion does not guarantee the ability to access that right. So, in 1975 Susan established the National Women’s Health Organization, a group of abortion clinics in the most underserved areas of the country. With this work, she laid the legal foundation for access to abortion services around the United States.

Susan Hill 1-thumb-225x324-9092This blog has merely touched on Susan Hill’s work and impact. I encourage you to read more about her legacy. In addition, NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina invites you to join us for our 5th Annual Spring into Action: an evening in honor of Susan Hill. Dr. Willie Parker, one of two heroic doctors who travel to Mississippi’s last remaining abortion clinic to provide abortion care to women across the Deep South, will be this year’s keynote speaker. Like Susan Hill, Dr. Parker is unrelenting in his commitment to helping women and families, even in the face of grave danger.​ We will also present the 2015 Susan Hill Award to Dr. Ward Cates for his work his work as a researcher and tireless champion for access to safe and legal abortion care.

For Women’s History Month, we honor Susan Hill for establishing clinics across the South in the most underserved areas, protecting the freedom of women, and fighting for access. In her work, she encountered countless obstacles and faced personal danger, including death threats and harassment. Yet, she kept working! She kept working for the freedom of all women. Like Susan, we must keep working. Let us honor Susan and her legacy through our work.