In one of his stranger efforts to retain his once-moderate image (if only in his own mind) Governor McCrory has been trying mightily in recent days to argue that his support for Senate Bill 353 — the omnibus anti-choice bill just passed by the General Assembly last week — does not somehow violate his 2012 campaign pledge to oppose any new restrictions on access to abortion in North Carolina.
Laying aside for a moment that one need look no further than the title of the bill to find multiple new restrictions spelled out in detail, it may also prove useful in understanding the real impact of the legislation to check in on what the anti-choice folks who helped craft it are saying. This is from the website of the North Carolina Family Policy Council:
“On Thursday, July 25, the North Carolina Senate gave final approval to a sweeping pro-life bill that is aimed at protecting the lives of unborn children and the health and safety of pregnant women. The Senate voted 32 to 13 to concur with the House version of Senate Bill 353-Health and Safety Law Changes. The House previously passed the measure on July 11. S353 now goes to Governor Pat McCrory, who has stated that he would sign the bill.
‘This is one of the most significant, life-saving measures to pass the North Carolina General Assembly in decades,’ said John Rustin, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. ‘We commend our state lawmakers, who took a courageous stand in support of this critically important legislation, and we call on Governor McCrory to join them and sign Senate Bill 353 into law.”
S353 is an omnibus pro-life bill that contains a number of key provisions, which will:
- Expand North Carolina’s health care conscience protection law;
- Restrict taxpayer funding of abortions;
- Ban sex-selection abortions in the state;
- Require a physician who is to perform an abortion to be physically present during a surgical abortion procedure or when the first drug or chemical is administered during a chemical abortion; and
- Direct the N.C. Department of Health & Human Services to increase health and safety regulations for abortion clinics.”
Got that? The anti-choice folks have no illusion about what this legislation will mean.
In other words, Governor, please spare everyone your word-parsing on this fundamental issue of personal freedom and ethics. Just admit what the darned thing does and sign it if you think it’s the right thing to do. But cut the B.S. about how this bill doesn’t conflict with your campaign promise to the people of the state.
No one else believes it. And it’s hard to imagine that you really do either.