Target: Governor of North Carolina Pat McCrory
Goal: Protect a woman’s right to choose
Under a veil of secrecy, Republicans in the North Carolina’s state Senate passed extensive new limitations on women’s reproductive rights that would dictate women’s personal medical decisions. Using their Republican majority, the GOP senators passed House bill 695, which would close 35 of the 36 abortion clinics in the state because of new licensing standards and other stipulations that would ultimately lead to an increase in back alley abortions. The state House—which Republicans also dominate—will review this bill and produce a final vote.
Originally, the bill aimed to prohibit applying foreign law—mainly Sharia law, the moral and religious tenets of Islam—in state courts and legal proceedings despite no concrete evidence that foreign laws would be utilized in the future. Tennessee, Arizona, Oklahoma, Idaho, Louisiana, South Dakota and Kansas all have similar bans in place. By secretly tacking on abortion restrictions to a ban on Sharia law would portray pro-choice advocates as proponents of Sharia law in a purportedly secular and post-911 society. Such tactics reflect the overwhelming Republican base of the North Carolina legislature.
The addition of abortion restrictions seeks to ban a woman’s right to choose, following in the recent footsteps of Texas and Ohio. These amendments to the original bill focus on enforcing strict regulations on abortion clinics that would require them to meet standards commensurate with those of ambulatory surgery centers; licensing requirements represents a popular anti-abortion tactic under which pro-life advocates argue that they would ensure safety during procedures. Pro-choice proponents, on the other hand, contend that such requirements aim to merely shut down clinics because clinics simply do not have the funding to meet the provisions. Furthermore, the sweeping amendment to the original bill would require the presence of doctors when women ingested abortifacients or during procedures, requires transfer agreements between clinics and hospitals, and implemented limitations on the health care coverage for abortion recipients.
It remains unclear whether Republican Governor Pat McCrory will sign the bill. As a gubernatorial candidate, McCrory promised to not touch the existing abortion laws. However, rather than focusing on issues such as education reform and job creation that would help ameliorate the state’s high unemployment rate, the North Carolina legislature passed a ban on foreign law and abortion without public notification. Such legislation would never be passed without a veil of darkness that North Carolina chose to operate under. Governor McCrory has the power to veto aspects of the bill he does not concur with. He should in order to halt the GOP’s war on women in one of the most conservative states in the US. Urge him to take a stand for women in his state and fulfill his campaign promises to not upset the status quo on abortion rights in his state.
Dear Governor McCrory,
Women have had the right to an abortion in the US since the Supreme Court passed Roe v. Wade in 1973. Shutting down virtually all of the abortion clinics because of onerous new restrictions added to HB 695 would greatly infringe on this right enshrined in the Constitution for women in your state. Following in the footsteps of other Republican-dominated states like Ohio and Texas in restricting abortions through legislation, the North Carolina state Senate secretly amended a bill banning the use of foreign law in the legal process to include various restrictions on abortion. These new provisions will restrict women’s right to choose and serve only to harm rather than help women’s healthcare by ultimately shutting down all but one abortion clinic. Doing so would undoubtedly lead to an increase in back-alley abortions. Such harmful initiatives must be stopped.
House bill 695 would promote anti-abortion agenda. One element of the proposed bill requires abortion clinics to meet to same licensing standards as ambulatory surgical units. Such austere requirements would shut down 35 of the 36 abortion clinics because clinics simply do not have the funding necessary to meet the standards. Furthermore, transfer agreements must be made between clinics and hospitals for the procedure. This stipulation is another tactic to restrict abortions because many hospitals are religious and thus prohibit abortions to be done in their institutions. While anti-abortion proponents in the Senate argue that these measures must be put in place to ensure the safety of women, it is quite evident that they were tacked onto the original bill under a veil of darkness to circumvent public outcry.
It is vital that women have access to reproductive healthcare during their time of need. Restricting their reproductive rights would be disastrous and would lead them to pursue extreme measures. The state should not interfere in the decision of what women do with their own bodies and should respect the Supreme Court’s decision in granting women autonomy over their own bodies. Please veto the anti-abortion elements from this bill and tell the legislature you do not support HB 695.
[Your name here]