North Carolina Quietly Passes Restrictive Anti-Abortion Law

| by Emily Smith
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Senate Republicans quietly passed HB 695 on Tuesday, an anti-abortion omnibus bill that was available to the public only 90 minutes before it was passed.

The bill, which started as a Sharia Law ban, is what critics call a TRAP law or a targeted regulation of abortion providers.

“It seems to me that they’re trying to pass under cover of darkness legislation that would not otherwise be passed,” said NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina executive director Suzanne Buckley. “They’re trying to pull a Texas.”

In an attempt to perhaps neutralize the bill’s angering effects, lawmakers renamed the bill “Family, Faith, and Freedom Protection Act of 2013,” as if the legislation had some amiable intention.

Like many other Republican-sponsored anti-abortion bills that passed this week, HB 695 would require physicians to be in the room and observe any patient who underwent a surgical or medical abortion. Proponents of the bill say the requirement would exist to protect patients from unlicensed physicians.

Opponents of the mandate say it could make abortion services nearly impossible considering some medical abortion take two separate visits to perform. Women with limited time and financial resources and those who must travel long distances to obtain an abortion would especially be affected.

Melissa Reed of the North Carolina Planned Parenthood criticized the unusually strict requirement, which does not apply to similar non-abortion related medical procedures.

The bill would also ban sex-selective abortion and require clinics performing abortions to meet the requirements of an ambulatory surgical center.

The final Senate vote is scheduled for Wednesday.

Sources: WRAL, The Atlantic Wire