Just in case you've been under a political rock the last 24 hours, you'll be the last to know that the NC GOP launched a sneak attack on women all across the Tarheel State Tuesday evening. Until 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, a bill on the Senate Judiciary I committee's calendar only showed a bill that dealt with the application of Sharia law to family cases. However, almost immediately, the committee took up an amendment to the bill that dealt with abortion. House Bill 695 practically mirrors the Texas anti-abortion bill that has mobilized thousands to protest in Austin this week.
The Senate has convened in Raleigh at 9am EDT this morning to debate the bill. For live coverage, follow the link below. While you're listening to the debate, you can read details of the bill below the fold.
UPDATE: THE BILL HAS PASSED. A SAD DAY FOR WOMEN IN NCNOTE: I tried to embed the video code, but the WRAL site code doesn't work here.
Sen. Martin Nesbitt, D-Buncombe, the Senate Minority Leader during debate, cautioned:
"We're sitting in here tonight and you're going to win this debate and feel really good about yourself because all you big, grown-up, grey-haired men have beat three women. I want to see what you do with about 10,000 of them. Because they're coming. They're coming. They're not going to put up with you doing this to them...”
Reposted from WRAL.com:
Among the abortion provisions:
CONSCIENCE PROTECTION: Any health care provider, not just doctors and nurses, would be allowed to opt out of providing abortion-related services.
ABORTION FUNDING LIMITS: The bill would prohibit health plans offered on the federal health care exchanges from offering abortion coverage. It would also prohibit state funds from being spent for abortions, except to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest.
It would also prohibit city and county health plans from offering abortion coverage more extensive than the coverage offered to state employees. The state health plan does not cover abortions except in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother.
SEX-SELECTIVE ABORTIONS: The measure prohibits doctors from performing an abortion if they know the woman seeking it is doing so because of the gender of the baby.
DOCTORS: Doctors would be required to remain in the room for the entire abortion procedure, whether surgical or medical / chemical.
TRANSFER AGREEMENTS: Abortion clinics would be required to have "transfer agreements" with local hospitals.
LICENSING: Abortions clinics would be required to go through a licensing process similar to that of outpatient surgical clinics.