By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
May 8, 2013
RALEIGH — Abortion as a means of gender selection may be a social norm in some countries, but many North Carolina lawmakers want doctors to know it isn’t acceptable in the Tar Heel state. With a vote mainly along party lines, the House approved H 716 “Clarify Law/Prohibit Sex-Selective Abortion” Tuesday, 79 to 40.
“We understand there were some concerns that the bill would put doctors in the role of investigators, trying to determine a woman’s precise motivation, but our hope is that those in the medical field see the larger picture here,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “No child should be aborted because he or she isn’t the preferred gender. And no woman should be encouraged to make such a decision to end a life based on gender — a decision that, no doubt, she will later regret.”
Amended to slightly narrow its scope, the bill, which is now headed to the Senate, would allow civil charges and a $10,000 fine to be levied against a doctor who performed or attempted to perform an abortion on a woman “with knowledge or an objective reason to know that a significant factor in the pregnant woman seeking the abortion is related to the sex of the unborn child.” Subsequent fines would climb to $50,000 and then $100,000.
Primarily sponsored by Rep. Ruth Samuelson (R-Mecklenburg), Rep. Pat McElraft (R-Carteret), Rep. Jacqueline Schaffer (R-Mecklenburg) and Rep. Rena Turner (R-Iredell), the bill raised the ire of abortion supporters who said it would have a chilling effect on the procedure and would lead to racial profiling with doctors questioning women of Asian or Indian descent more closely than their American counterparts about why they were seeking abortion.
Rep. Deborah Ross (D-Wake) said the bill would allow “a bunch of people to sue a doctor based on hearsay,” and Rep. Rick Glazier (D-Cumberland) said it would put the government in the middle of a private and spiritual decision and give new meaning to “don’t ask/don’t tell” as doctors would avoid altogether the question of why the abortion is sought and patients would decline to offer details. Rep. Alma Adams (D-Guilford) refused to acknowledge that gendercide could be happening in North Carolina.
But Rep. McElraft said four separate studies from major universities show that sex selection is growing in America. She said legislation similar to H 716 had been enacted in Pennsylvania in 1982 and that it had not been ruled unconstitutional.
“This is a very simple decision: If you believe that a baby should be aborted just because it’s a boy or just because it’s a girl, then vote against this bill,” she said.
If the Senate follows suit, North Carolina would become one of a half dozen or so states that have banned sex-selective abortions. Another handful of states are also considering doing so this year.