North Carolina Republicans are determined to pass an abortion bill this session, despite Gov. Pat McCrory's threat to veto the legislation and an earlier promise to not allow additional abortion rules during his term.
State House Republicans reportedly inserted anti-abortion rules--but less-restrictive ones they say the governor won't mind--into a bill about motorcycle safety Wednesday, alerting the legislative committee to changes three minutes before the committee convened. The House's move arrives one week after the State Senate passed a similar anti-abortion bill--also attached to an unrelated bill--that set out new rules for clinics that provide abortions and additional limits on the legality of abortion.
According to reports, the House changed the bill slightly from the Senate's version after McCrory threatened to veto it—but just slightly:
It calls for a physician to be present when the first drug in a chemical abortion is administered, as opposed to all drugs, as the version that passed the Senate last week would mandate.Another major change from the Senate version: Abortion clinics would not be required to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers. But the state Department of Health and Human Services would be authorized to apply those standards as it sees "applicable." The bill also includes a state study to determine what resources are necessary for the state health agency to adequately enforce the new regulations, and would pay for more inspectors.
North Carolina residents have been protesting the GOP-led state legislature's actions since April on a variety of issues, including abortion this past Monday. Nearly 600 people have been arrested for civil disobedience since the start of the protests.