Advocates respond to Senate’s sneak attack on reproductive freedom

A statement from the ACLU-NC:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 2, 2013

ACLU-NC Denounces N.C. Senate’s Sneak Attack on Reproductive Rights
Senate Attempted to Pass Omnibus Anti-Abortion Bill Tuesday Night Without Public Notice or Debate 

RALEIGH – This evening, without any public notice or debate, the North Carolina Senate voted to pass an omnibus anti-abortion bill that would severely restrict women’s access to abortion care by prohibiting health plans offered through federal health care exchanges from offering abortion coverage, requiring abortion clinics to go through a licensing process similar to outpatient surgical clinics, allowing all health care providers to opt out of providing abortion care, requiring doctors to stay in the room for an entire abortion procedure (regardless of whether it is surgical, medical, or chemical), and compel doctors to interrogate patients about the reason they are having an abortion by prohibiting doctors from knowingly performing a sex-selection abortion.

The provisions were tacked onto House Bill 695, which seeks to ban use of Sharia and other foreign laws in North Carolina. The bill passed the Senate 27-14 but was objected to on third reading.

Sarah Preston, Policy Director for the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, released the following statement:

“This attempted sneak attack on women’s reproductive rights is absolutely shameful. Issues as vital and personal as access to comprehensive health care and doctor-patient relationships deserve to be debated in an open, public process – not hastily pushed through without notice and under the cover of night during a holiday week. These loathsome restrictions and the deceitful method through which the Senate tried to pass them are an obvious effort to not simply prevent women in North Carolina from having comprehensive access to much-needed health care, but to not even give them an opportunity to weigh in on legislation that will have wide-ranging impacts on women and doctors all across our state.”

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