Senate Bill 353 [PDF] requires abortion clinics to meet the same requirements as ambulatory surgical centers, eliminates abortion coverage under state employee insurance plans, bans sex-selective abortions, allows health care providers refuse to participate in abortion-related care, and requires that the doctor performing the procedure disclose their name at least 24 hours before a woman's procedure. These new provisions threaten to close all but one abortion clinic in the state .
SB 353 was originally a motorcycle safety bill. Conservative lawmakers in the state House replaced the majority of the bill with abortion restrictions without advance warning. The same tactic was used to include even more restrictive abortion regulations to an anti-Sharia law a week earlier, which McCrory threatened to veto.
"Let's be clear," said Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation, "Not only did he break his promise, but this legislation which will close women's health clinics that not only provide abortions but STI testing and cancer screening will injure thousands of North Carolinian women."
"We are appalled that Gov. McCrory broke his campaign promise and we will do everything in our power to let the women of North Carolina know they cannot trust him to stand up to lawmakers intent on denying women access to safe and legal abortion," said Paige Johnson, spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Central NC. Abortion rights advocates in North Carolina, organized by Planned Parenthood, camped outside McCrory's office on Monday urging him to veto the bill.
Media Resources: Reuters 7/30/2013; Associated Press 7/29/2013; Governor Pat McCrory Press Office 7/29/2013; Senate Bill 353; Youtube 7/12/2013; Feminist Newswire 7/29/2013, 7/26/2013, 7/11/2013, 7/3/2013
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .