Dozens of local elected officials call on Guv to reject abortion bill

This was released today…

An open letter to Governor McCrory from local elected officials opposed to sweeping restrictions on women’s health

July 25, 2013 

The Honorable Pat McCrory
Office of the Governor
State of North Carolina 

Dear Governor McCrory,

As municipal and county elected officials, we write to oppose SB353, the omnibus abortion bill titled Health and Safety Law Changes.

SB 353 is not only an intrusion into the deeply personal and private health care decisions North Carolina women and their families face, but also an intrusion into the affairs of local governments who want to ensure that health plans offered to their employees, to the extent possible, cover their health care needs.

Today the majority of comprehensive health plans cover abortion. SB 353 would strip current city and county employees of comprehensive health coverage while permanently banning local-decision makers from choosing a health care plan that includes a legal medical procedure.

Moreover, the legislature’s overreaching intent to pick and choose what healthcare procedures a city or county is able to include in their health plans greatly limits our ability as local decision-makers to negotiate for benefits with our private health insurers. Health care plans are chosen as a package not by individual procedure. As a result, SB 353 will diminish local governments’ ability to remain competitive in the marketplace against the private sector for top talent as it reduces the health benefit package we are able to offer to potential employees.

Women expect their health insurance to meet their health care needs and they deserve coverage that cares for their wellbeing. This is why North Carolinians have made clear time and again that they reject this sweeping effort to curtail a woman’s ability to access safe and legal health care.

SB 353, currently under consideration by the NC Senate, unfairly targets women’s access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare and limits the healthcare coverage municipalities and counties are able to offer their employees.

We the undersigned respectfully ask that you veto SB 353 if passed by the North Carolina General Assembly.

Chris Pelly, Asheville City Council

Gordon Smith, Asheville City Council

Cecil Bothwell, Asheville City Council

Andy Ball, Boone Town Council

David Gantt, Chair, Buncombe County Commission

Holly Jones, Buncombe County Commissioner

Brownie Newman, Buncombe County Commissioner

Mayor Mark Chilton, Carrboro

Randee Haven-O’Donnell, Carrboro Board of Aldermen

Damon Seils, Carrboro Board of Aldermen

Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, Chapel Hill

Mayor Pro Tem Ed Harrison, Chapel Hill

Lee Storrow, Chapel Hill Town Council

James Ward, Chapel Hill Town Council

Laurin Easthom, Chapel Hill Town Council

Donna Bell, Chapel Hill Town Council  

Sally Greene, Chapel Hill Town Council

John Autry, Charlotte City Council

David Howard, Charlotte City Council

Beth Pickering Charlotte City Council

LaWana Mayfield, Charlotte City Council

Dr. Jeannette Council, Cumberland County Commissioner

Charles Evans, Cumberland County Commissioner

Billy R. King, Cumberland County Commissioner

Mayor Bill Bell, Durham

Don Moffitt, Durham City Council

Diane Catotti, Durham City Council

Eugene Brown, Durham City Council

Steve Schewel, Durham City Council

Ellen Reckhow, Durham County Commissioner

Wendy Jacobs, Durham County Commissioner

Keith Bates, Sr., Fayetteville City Council

Robert A. Massey, Fayetteville City Council

Eric Hallman, Hillsborough Mayor Pro Tem

Mayor Jackie Holcombe, Morrisville

Penny Rich, Orange County Commissioner

Barry Jacobs, Orange County Commissioner

Renee Price, Orange County Commissioner

Alice Gordon, Orange County Commissioner

Bernadette Pelissier, Orange County Commissioner

Mary-Ann Baldwin, Raleigh City Council

Laura Padgett, Wilmington City Council

Dan Besse, Winston-Salem City Council

Molly Leight, Winston-Salem City Council

Trevor M. Fuller, Mecklenburg County Commissioner

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