@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Abortion ed bill passes House

Posted June 27, 2013

— A bill requiring North Carolina seventh-graders to be taught that abortion is a risk factor for later miscarriages is headed back to the Senate after winning final House approval Thursday.

The vote was 69-42.

After an amendment that passed with near-unanimous support, the bill now requires the seventh-grade health curriculum to teach that abortion, as well as drinking, smoking, illicit drug use and inadequate prenatal care, is a "risk for" later miscarriages or premature births. The bill originally referred to those factors as "causes."

Democratic critics praised the amendment but said the proposal is still inappropriate for middle-school students, warning that teaching about abortion is likely to cause trouble for teachers. 

"This has been a minefield of a bill for us," said Rep. Rick Glazier, D-Cumberland, "and now we’re putting [teachers] in the position of having to decide. It may be fair if there was a consensus on the medical science, but there’s not. It may be fair if this was at least age-appropriate information, but it is not.

"It will inevitably open up incredibly difficult questions that we’re asking the teacher to answer. That’s not fair," he said. "There will be heck to pay at that school the next day."

"If teachers can't take that on as a task, they're not adequate to their jobs," responded Rep. Jim Fulghum, R-Wake.

Rep. Susan Fisher, D-Buncombe, remarked that, if House leaders were truly concerned about reducing pre-term births, they wouldn't be seeking to move pregnant women off Medicaid rolls and do away with the Child Fatality Task Force.

“We don’t want to teach about contraception, but we sure want to teach about abortion,” Fisher said.   

Rep. Skip Stam, R-Wake, said Democrats were less concerned about age-appropriateness when they passed the Healthy Youth Act five years ago, mandating teaching about prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

"'We’ve got to get them early,' you said," Stam said, "but lo and behold, we can’t talk about what happens when you get pregnant.

"Some people will get pregnant, and some of them who don’t get pregnant may refuse to get pregnant because they realize they want to have a healthy child when they’re old enough to have a child," he said. 

Leaders shut down the tense debate after an exchange between Rep. Alma Adams, D-Guilford, and Rep. Sarah Stevens, R-Surry. 

Adams said the motivation of the bill is political, not scientific. "It’s all about anti-choice and limiting abortion, and that’s really all it’s about," she said.

Stevens accused Adams of breaking House rules of debate. "She is attacking motives and personal credibility,” she said.  

"I’m not talking about any people. I’m talking about the legislation," responded Adams. "Everybody else is talking about the bill. Why can’t I?"

The proposal has to return to the Senate for final approval of the House's changes.

19 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • katgotyertongue Jun 28, 3:21 p.m.

    Really? Really? this is what our tax dollars are paying for??? For crying out loud, how about education the kids on how to PREVENT pregnancy...opps can't do that now can we.,,,,,,

  • wawawoa Jun 28, 1:26 p.m.

    Way to go NC we made the National news again!

  • teleman60 Jun 28, 12:25 p.m.

    Republicans FORCE CHILDREN TO BE TAUGHT LIES IN SCHOOL!

    Where are the sane people? Who voted for these crazy republicans?

  • birkie74693 Jun 28, 12:21 p.m.

    Geosol, you said it! The "conservatives" say they want small government, and they get elected, and they immediately start passing laws telling everybody what to think and what they must say ... good thing that "official religion" thing didn't pass, but they're probably still working on that.

    For people like these right-wing chin-droolers, "free speech" is only for people they AGREE with.

  • geosol Jun 28, 12:16 p.m.

    More BIG GOVERNMENT intervention into people's personal lives brought to you by the REPUBLICAN party. VOTE 'EM ALL OUT!!!!!

  • sisu Jun 28, 12:13 p.m.

    I feel sorry for those health/PE teachers. I don't know what their curriculum is but I hope they also have to teach about contraception... all methods, including condoms, pills, and the rhythm method. Also, I'm sure they must be teaching about STDs. If anything was going to scare a kid from early sex that would.

    It doesn't bother me if they mention abortion as a risk factor along with other risk factors but they better have a clinical script for those poor teachers to read from that is minimal after which point the teacher must tell the kids that any specifics must be directed to their parents or guardians.

    It is not appropriate to expect a teacher to referee such a controversial subject with 30 13 year-olds.

  • Kaitlyn Jun 28, 11:57 a.m.

    The republicans are forcing schools to teach students a LIE, and the physician who is supporting this bill with his friends in the legislature should be ashamed of himself. I assume he also has no problem lying to his own patients about what is in their nest interest as long as it suits his own personal beliefs and politics. If he was my doc I'd dump him on the spot. The last thing I want is a physician I can't trust.

  • jttm69 Jun 28, 7:28 a.m.

    I also like how all the "conservatives" are concerned about Sharia Law. That's exactly what this is. Only instead of Islam is a perversion of Christianity.

  • exteacher Jun 27, 11:03 p.m.

    This is such a joke.... Students can opt out of sex ed, but not when the topic is abortion. Also amazing that NO teachers were consulted about this and this bill did not come from nor was it sent to the EDUCATION committee. If this is about education, why was it not coming from that committee? Alma Adams is exactly correct about what this is really about. Since the governor stated several months ago that he would NOT sign any legislation that changes anything about abortion, it will be interesting to see if he signs this sham legislation.

  • squinney Jun 27, 10:27 p.m.

    these people are not pro life they are pro birth. Once these precious lives are out of the womb they're on their own. Until they're old enough to go to war, of course.

More...