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Advocates respond to committee passage of anti-choice bill

From the good folks at Planned Parenthood of Central NC:

NC GOP Legislators Resume Attacks on Women’s Health

HB 716 Represents Another Attack on Women’s Health and Health Care Providers

RALEIGH— Today the NC General Assembly resumed their efforts to restrict women’s access to reproductive health care which began in 2011, the worst session on record for women’s health.

Planned Parenthood opposes racism and sexism in all forms and works to advance equity and human rights in the delivery of healthcare.

“HB 716, on the other hand, has nothing to do with addressing the underlying causes of gender discrimination and everything to do with politicians pushing their agenda to restrict access to safe and legal abortion,” said Paige Johnson, Vice President of External Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina.

“Proponents of HB 716 are simply taking a page out of the playbook of politicians opposed to safe and legal abortion across the country. Similar legislation has been introduced in states like Kansas, North Dakota and Missouri,” added Johnson.

The primary sponsors of HB 716 are the same legislators who last legislative session worked to impose a forced ultrasound viewing, mandatory delays and state scripted counseling on every woman seeking to end a pregnancy in North Carolina—legislation so extreme portions of it were immediately enjoined by federal court.

“North Carolinians, like most Americans, do not think politicians should interfere in the doctor patient relationship,” says Melissa Reed, Vice President of Planned Parenthood Health Systems, “HB 716 undermines nonjudgmental, high quality care by turning doctors into investigators and their patients suspects.”

If HB 716 becomes law, doctors would fact heavy fines, loss of his or her license to practice medicine, and lawsuits from a patient, her family or another doctor.

Two physicians testified against HB 716 stating that language in the bill is too vague for doctors to effectively comply and stating that the bill would undermine their ability to provide confidential, nonjudgmental health care.

A representative from the NC Right to Life who also testified stated that HB 716 is a major issue due to “the number of immigrants that are coming to this country.” Jina Dhillon from NC Women United and Milan Pham of the Asian-American and Pacific Women’s Association, both of Asian descent, responded that the bill would cause discrimination against Asian-American women and noted that there is no evidence that such gender preferences are a problem in North Carolina among immigrant communities or otherwise.

The measure ultimately passed the committee along party lines and will go to the House Floor.