S 353 – Health and Safety Law Changes, Commonly Called the Abortion Bill, Passes and Heads to the Governor
Huge Victory for the Pro-Life Cause
By L.A. Williams
Christian Action League
July 26, 2013
RALEIGH – Legislation (S 353 – Health and Safety Law Changes) that will make abortion safer for women, allow for conscience protection for healthcare workers, prevent taxpayers from funding elective abortions and prohibit abortion for the purpose of sex selection passed the Senate 32-13 Thursday and is headed to Gov. Pat McCrory, who has said he will sign the landmark bill.
“This is a truly wonderful measure that will hold abortion doctors and clinics to standards similar to those of other surgical facilities,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “Planned Parenthood is calling for the Governor to veto this bill, but we believe anyone concerned with women’s health should want the best conditions for patients undergoing this procedure.”
An hour-long debate preceded the Senate’s vote to concur with the House version of a motorcycle safety bill, which included provisions similar to those OK’d earlier by the Senate in its Faith, Family and Freedom Protection Act. The governor had said he would veto that bill unless it was modified to address concerns from the Department of Health and Human Services, and assuage worries that the measure would limit women’s access to abortion.
The final version of the bill, approved earlier by the House and sitting in a Senate committee until Thursday, asks DHHS to increase health and safety regulations on abortion clinics without unduly limiting access. A provision in the bill requires that an abortion doctor be present during the entire surgical abortion process and that, in the case of a medicinal abortion, the doctor be on site when the first dose of an abortifacient is administered.
Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the NC Family Values Coalition, said the law will implement “common-sense and reasonable safety standards for abortion facilities.”
Supporters of the bill had pointed out in numerous debates that North Carolina has had problems with abortion clinics, citing recent violations in Charlotte and Fayetteville facilities, but abortion supporters insist the new law will lead to too many clinic closings and force women to undergo back alley abortions.
Responding to criticism of the bill, Sen. Thom Goolsby said “If you can show me something in there that is unreasonable, that is wrong, that hurts women, I will not vote for this…I’m just not finding it offensive.”
Far from offensive, Dr. Creech called the bill a victory for women’s health and life. He commended lawmakers for courageously approving the much needed measure despite protests from the abortion industry.
“This bill was not so much about prohibiting abortion, but about prohibiting an industry from operating under substandard conditions. Abortion clinics have far too long been given a privileged status. Those of us in the cause of life have known this for a long time. But more recently, clinics like the one where Gosnell in Philadelphia practiced and even some in our own state clearly show higher standards are definitely necessary. We look forward to the governor signing this new law.”
Rev. Creech added that he was very thankful for all those who prayed and contacted their legislators on behalf of the legislation.