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From today’s Charlotte Observer:

Doctors to N.C. legislators: Get out of our exam rooms
By Jeanne A. Conry and Haywood L. Brown

North Carolina is yet another example of legislators wanting to play doctor, telling real doctors how to practice medicine and how to care for our patients. Medical decisions must be based on scientific evidence and made by patients in consultation with physicians, not the state or federal government.

Let’s be clear. Senate Bill 132 and Senate Bill 353 collectively have one purpose: To restrict the reproductive rights of women in North Carolina by interfering with the practice of medicine. The two leading state ob-gyn associations – the North Carolina Obstetrical and Gynecological Society and the North Carolina Section of The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists – have joined together to stand against these bills because they undermine the very fabric of what’s important: Patient safety and access to quality medical care for all women in our state.

ACOG respects our members’ deeply held personal beliefs on abortion. While we can agree to disagree about abortion on ideological grounds, we must draw a hard line against any legislation that threatens women’s health. That’s why we’re setting the record straight for all politicians: Get out of our exam rooms.

Read the rest by clicking here.

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Last Monday, reproductive freedom supporter Dianna Wynn joined in with many of her fellow North Carolinians to participate in a Moral Mondays protest. She shared her story with NC Policy Watch:  

My Moral Monday arrest and protest experience
By Dianna Wynn

Participating in public protest demonstrations is not something I do, but that all changed for me when the NC legislature chose to attack women’s reproductive rights. I am outraged at the nature of this legislation and the sneaky process that has produced it. Thus, it was with anger and frustration that I chose to attend Moral Monday on July 8th and engage in the civil disobedience that resulted in my arrest.

I did this not knowing how my family and friends would react. However, the outpouring of support has been overwhelming and often unexpected. Read More

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It’s hard to believe that it was just nine months ago that progressive editorial pages around North Carolina were endorsing Pat McCrory as a “moderate” who would effectively curb extremist inclinations of the state’s far right General Assembly.

Since that time, on issue after issue, the Guv has espoused, defended and signed into law ideas that are as reactionary and far-reaching as they come, anywhere in modern America. 

Now, today, on a subject that seemed to be the last hope for “Moderate Pat” to show up and make a stand (the Charlotte Observer was praising his newfound backbone on the matter just 48 hours ago), the man has, sadly, folded yet again like a cheap suit.

It would appear that today – July 12, 2013 – will go down in history as the day on which any hope for the near-term preservation of North Carolina as a moderate and forward-looking state was officially cast to the wind.

At least folks will have no further illusions about where things stand.       

 

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Professor Lisa Levenstein of UNCG has an excellent piece in this morning’s Greensboro News & Record about the General Assembly’s mad rush to pass new laws law restricting a woman’s right to reproductive freedom.

Proposed new regulations on abortion providers have nothing to do with protecting women’s health. Nothing demonstrates this quite like the tactics Republican leaders have used to try to ram the legislation through the N.C. General Assembly.

At first, draconian abortion restrictions were placed into an anti-Sharia law bill. After public scrutiny began to gather momentum, the new regulations were put into — of all things — a motorcycle safety bill. If advocates are so convinced these new measures are justified, why all the secrecy? Why all the back-room tactics? Why the rush?

GOP leaders argued that the legislation formerly known as House Bill 695, the “Family, Faith, and Freedom Protection Act,” would actually protect women by imposing strict new regulations on abortion providers

“We’re not taking away the rights of women,” insisted Sen. Warren Daniel, one of the primary supporters of the bill. “We’re protecting the health and safety of women across the state.”

Yet the discussion of the bill in the House Health and Human Services Committee meeting on Tuesday morning made it abundantly clear that the true intent of the legislation had little to do with protecting women’s health and everything to do with severely restricting women’s access to abortion….

Read the rest by clicking here.

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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