After state officials temporarily closed a filthy abortion clinic earlier this year, state legislators in the North Carolina Senate today approved a bill that would hold abortion facilities to stricter limits.
Abortion backers oppose the bill because they say other abortion clinics may not be able to comply and could be forced to close down. Planned Parenthood said its four centers may be forced to close.
The Family, Faith and Freedom Protection Act would place limits on the funding of abortions by any health plan that received public money, would require clinics to meet more stringent physical standards, would require doctors performing abortions to be physically present during the entire procedure, would ban the possibility of sex-selective abortion and fine abortion practitioners for doing such abortions. It would also allow any health care provider to not participate in abortion-related procedures.
From a local report on the bill:
“It was really several bills brought together,” said bill supporter Sen. Warren Daniel (R-Morganton). “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.”
“We also would rather have one vote that goes through the full debate and not take day after day after day after day after day,” said Sen. Buck Newton (R-Wilson).
He said that as the session was quickly drawing to a close, it “made sense with the consensus that we have in the majority to move forward in this manner.”
The bill passed the Senate, 27-14. A final vote on the measure is scheduled for Wednesday. If passed, it will need to go back to the House for concurrence.
During a Tuesday judiciary committee meeting, Daniel emphasized that the bill was designed to protect women’s safety and health.
“We’ve all seen the news, the tragedies that have happened in these abhorrent clinics in Pennsylvania. We’ve even had a clinic in Charlotte shut down recently,” Daniel said, referring to a clinic that was closed and reopened after agreeing to use a different drug regimen. “This is all about patient safety. We’re going to require in this bill that the physician be present during the abortion procedure.
“I think our goal is to have abortion clinics have similar standards to surgical clinics.”
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According to legislative staff, only one of the state’s existing clinics currently meets those standards. Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina head Melissa Reed said none of that organization’s four clinics in the state would meet those standards.
Last month, North Carolina officials allowed a southeast Charlotte abortion clinic to reopen, but vow they will closely monitor operations at A Preferred Woman’s Health Center. The abortion clinic was shut down in early May, the second time the clinic has lost its license.
The first occasion was in February 2007, when, as the Charlotte Observer reported, “state investigators found as many as 16 safety and regulatory issues at the clinic, according to a letter DHHS sent the clinic.”
More recently, investigators found that staffers were administering methotrexate (an abortifacient) in liquid form. The regimen requires that methotrexate be injected or taken in pill form.
CORRECTION: Senator Rabin was absent due to a personal family event therefore did not vote at all, however today voted FOR the bill.( http://ncleg.net/gascripts/voteHistory/RollCallVoteTranscript.pl?sSession=2013&sChamber=S&RCS=732)