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It seems like every time I debate a conservative talking head on TV or radio and warn about North Carolina’s ongoing slide to the bottom (and mention that we seem bent on becoming the new Mississippi) the response goes something like this: “No, our model is Texas. That’s where they know how to grow the economy and shrink government.”

Of course, even at a glance, it’s obvious to most intelligent people why Texas is no model worth copying.  Lest you have any doubts, however, Andrea Flynn of the Roosevelt Institute explains some very important reasons why life in Texas is increasingly third-world-like for a huge chunk of the population: Read More

Mark KleinschmidtLost in today’s news blitz is the fact that several regressive new North Carolina laws take effect today, including the state’s  new anti-woman, anti-reproductive freedom law. In response, Chapel Hill mayor Mark Kleinschmidt wrote an excellent essay for the Huffington Post. Here’s the excellent opening:

Women and North Carolina GOP Lose Upon Implementation of New State Abortion Restrictions

Today North Carolina’s new oppressive anti-choice law goes into effect and no North Carolina woman is safer or healthier because of it. But the biggest loser of all may be North Carolina’s Gov. Pat McCrory, who violated a clear campaign promise when he signed the legislation into law. Read More

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. Read More

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.

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.