North Carolina Senate Passes Bill for New Abortion Clinic Safety Standards
Less than a week after Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) became a main-stream media “superstar” for filibustering a bill that would restrict abortions in that state, North Carolina senators have introduced a bill that would put into action many of the same provisions as the Texas statute.
North Carolina Health News reports that the Family, Faith and Freedom Protection Act, HB 695, would preclude health insurance plans that receive public dollars from covering abortion services, including municipal and county plans, and those covered under ObamaCare’s state exchange plans. It would also require abortion clinics to meet the standards of care of other ambulatory surgical centers and require abortionists to be physically present during the entire abortion procedure--whether performed surgically or via medication. The bill also prohibits sex-selective abortions and fines doctors suspected of performing them. It also extends the right of refusal to participate in any abortion-related procedures to all health care providers.
Sen. Warren Daniel (R-Morganton) said, regarding the legislation, “It was really several bills brought together. It was several bills that passed the House and one bill that was a Senate bill. They were just sort of consolidated because they fit together as a social bill mold.”
The bill passed the state Senate, 27-14. A final vote on the measure is scheduled for Wednesday. If passed, it will return to the state House for concurrence.
At a judiciary committee meeting on Tuesday, Daniel stressed that the bill was designed to protect the safety and health of women.
“We’ve all seen the news, the tragedies that have happened in these abhorrent clinics in Pennsylvania,” he said. “We’ve even had a clinic in Charlotte shut down recently. This is all about patient safety.”
Legislative staff indicated that only one of the state’s existing abortion clinics currently meets the standards as set forth in the proposed legislation. Melissa Reed, head of Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina, said none of the abortion giant’s four clinics in the state would meet the health and safety standards.
“It’s a very serious barrier,” Reed claimed. “The intention of the folks that made the changes to this bill is to end access to abortion in North Carolina. It would end, basically, access to medical abortion. It could shut down a large number of providers in the state.”
The bill would also require that doctors who administer the two-drug regimen called RU 486 be with patients as the drug is administered. The Food and Drug Administration states that, during abortion via medication, the first drug, mifepristone, be administered, followed by the drug misoprostol two days later. The process can take 48 hours.
“I think to characterize RU486 as just a common drug is a misnomer,” said Daniel. “It’s a dangerous drug; in many cases, it’s more dangerous than a surgical abortion.”
Alice Mark, however, an obstetrician and gynecologist at the international public health organization Ipas, based in Chapel Hill, said, “There’s no reason to be in a clinic to complete a medical abortion.”
“There’s a lot of research that shows that women can take misoprostol at home,” Mark claimed.
She also said that surgical abortions are safe. “The death rate for having a baby is more than 10 times the death rate from having a legal induced abortion,” she claimed.