This morning, North Carolina’s state senate advanced a bill to further restrict abortion rights in the state. The bill the Senate voted on was supposed to be about prohibiting Islamic sharia law in the state, but ended up having unrelated anti-abortion legislation tacked onto it on Tuesday. The bill would require that abortion providers be present for all abortions, regardless of whether the pregnancy termination is surgicial (a surgery) or medical (pill form). Additionally, the bill would require clinics that provide abortions to have the same engineering standards as ambulatory surgical centers, which would require additional, expensive updates. Anti-abortion activists have been pushing for such bills around the country because they know clinics will be out of commission while seeking to meet the new requirements.
The Senators approved House Bill 695 by 29 to 12, prompting abortion rights supporters to shout “shame, shame, shame!”; the bill now heads back to the state House of Representatives for the changes to be approved. It is not known whether NC Governor Pat McCrory will veto the bill. [WRAL]