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womens-healthFor the second time in days, a federal judge has ruled as unconstitutional state provisions requiring doctors who perform abortions at clinics to have admitting privileges at local hospitals.

The decision in Alabama by U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson follows a 2-1 decision from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on July 29, rejecting a similar provision in Mississippi.

Similar provisions have been adopted in at least 10 states, with court challenges following.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court  blocked efforts by Wisconsin’s Attorney General to reinstate a state law requiring that abortion providers have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

That provision was one of several restrictive measures hastily passed by the Wisconsin legislature in 2013. In the lawsuit that followed in federal court there, U.S. District Judge William Conley enjoined enforcement of the provision and the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. 

As we’ve noted before, doctors have been among the most vocal critics of such provisions. As several contended in the Wisconsin case:

Doctors providing services submitted letters from hospitals rejecting their requests for admitting privileges mostly because they wouldn’t admit the number of patients required.  Hospitals normally require physicians with admitting privileges to admit a certain number of patients each year and with complications of abortions being rare, those minimum admission rates would never be met by doctors performing abortion.

The law requiring hospital admitting privileges only applies to abortion providers.  Those providing outpatient surgery, oral surgery, or other outpatient procedures are not required to have admitting privileges.

They’ve also argued that admitting privileges are not necessary, since patients in distress are sent to the emergency room, where they are treated by physicians there. 

In North Carolina, an admitting privileges requirement was one of several abortion restrictions proposed early in the 2013 long session but dropped from the bill ultimately signed into law, pending the adoption of regulations by the Department of Health and Human Services. That process has since been stalled.

 

 

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NARAL Pro-Choice NC Director Suzanne Buckley agrees with House Speaker Thom Tillis about one very important matter — there were a lot of losers in North Carolina as a result of the 2013 legislative session. Check out the latest statement from her group:

“Last week, House Speaker Thom Tillis disregarded North Carolinians opposed to his extreme agenda at the NC General Assembly as ‘whining coming from losers’ in an interview with Politico.

‘Speaker Tillis’ comments are the latest in a series of disparaging and disrespectful remarks about North Carolinians from extreme leaders in Raleigh,’ said Suzanne Buckley, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina. From Governor McCrory’s ‘I don’t care’ response to Cookiegate in July to NC Senator Rucho’s Twitter rant, NC GOP leaders have a lot to get off their chests these days.

‘At least Tillis was right about one thing—the unemployed, teachers, military families, young people, immigrants, workers, and women are the losers under Tillis’ leadership,’ she added. Thousands of North Carolinians, especially women, suffered significant losses in the Tillis-led 2013 legislative session. Under Tillis’ leadership, the NCGA: Read More

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“There is a special place in hell for women who don’t take care of other women”  — tough words from former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, words she uses so often that she calls them her motto.

Last week, all 11 Republican women in the state House of Representatives — Marilyn Avila, Rayne Brown, Debra Conrad, Julia Howard, Pat HurleyLinda Johnson, Michelle Presnell, Ruth Samuelson, Jacqueline Schaffer, Sarah Stevens, Rena Turner — voted in favor of last-minute amendments to the Motorcycle Safety Act which, if accepted by the Senate and signed into law by the Governor, will restrict a woman’s access to abortion and other health care services offered at the 16 clinics licensed here in North Carolina.

“This is really all about protecting the health and safety of women,” Rep. Ruth Samuelson said. “We are not out here trying to shut down every abortion clinic in North Carolina.”

But experience  tells us that bills directed at health and well-being are typically preceded by public debate with input from those in the medical profession and reports from state agencies which reveal a problem in need of correction, and after some deliberation. Read More

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From NARAL-Pro Choice NC:

NARAL Pro-Choice NC appalled by passage of Sneak Attack Act in the NC House
Anti-choice omnibus bill SB 353 passes 74-41

Raleigh, NC– This afternoon, SB 353 (formerly known as HB 695) passed the NC House of Representatives in a vote of 74-41. “We are appalled but not surprised that the House has passed SB 353 in a largely party-line vote. This bill is the most egregious attack on women’s reproductive rights and safety that we’ve seen in over 40 years.  This bill will severely limit women’s access to safe and legal abortion care to the detriment of North Carolina women. The sponsors of SB 353 have shown an utter disregard for women’s health and safety, continuously putting anti-choice political ideology over fair process and democracy,” said Suzanne Buckley, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina.

“Now, all eyes are on the Governor. He made a campaign promise to voters back in October that he would not support any further restrictions on access to safe and legal abortion care in our state, and we are going to hold him to his word. If the Governor wants to be known as a man of character, he will veto this bill. North Carolinians are watching and they will remember this in 2016,” said Buckley.

“The extreme anti-choice majority’s surreptitious attack on women’s health is not the kind of leadership North Carolina voters deserve,” Buckley continued.  “The women’s health advocates and reproductive rights supporters who showed up to fill the gallery today at the NCGA, and who have been at the General Assembly for weeks will not be silenced by empty promises or word-games, and they will be ready to hold their lawmakers accountable,” she said.  

 And this is from the ACLU-NC: Read More

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From the good folks at NARAL Pro-Choice NC:

Anti-Choice Sex-Education Bill Passes the House, on route to the Governor’s Desk
NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina says Young People Deserve the Facts

For Immediate Release – June 27, 2013

RALEIGH, NC., This afternoon, the House passed SB 132 by a vote of 68 to 42. “This bill is part of an extreme anti-choice agenda by leaders in the General Assembly to ban abortion in North Carolina.” said Suzanne Buckley, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina. “While the Governor and his allies in the House may claim that this bill is about education, the debate on the House floor yesterday and today have made it abundantly clear that lawmakers behind this bill are more concerned with advancing their political agenda than promoting accurate information in sex education. The fact that this bill never made it to the Education Committee is further evidence that it has nothing to do with education, and everything to do with an anti-choice political agenda.” Buckley continued. “Any claim to the contrary is disingenuous.” Read More