House passes abortion bill without contraception provisions

Posted May 15, 2013

— The state House has passed a bill dealing with several abortion-related provisions, but only after removing a controversial provision dealing with contraception coverage. 

House Bill 730, which passed the House Judiciary A Committee Wednesday morning, originally contained a measure that would have allowed employers to opt out of providing contraception in their health plans. 

North Carolina law already allows employers with religious affiliations to offer health plans with no contraception coverage. The committee-passed version of the bill extended the definition of "religious employer" to "include any employer, whether incorporated or not and whether for-profit or not, that has a religious, moral, or ethical objection to providing such coverage."

However, the contraception provision was controversial among Republicans. 

"It's going to hurt on the House floor," Rep. Bob Steinburg, R-Chowan, warned the committee. 

His fellow Republicans took that warning to heart and stripped the provision when it came to the House floor Wednesday night. 

The bill now deals with three different abortion-related matters:

  • extending the right to opt out of helping with an abortion procedure to any health care provider, not just doctors and nurses, as is the case under current law
  • prohibiting health plans created pursuant to the federal Affordable Care Act from including abortion coverage, despite at least one federal court ruling that such provisions run counter to the law and are therefore unenforceable
  • prohibiting cities and counties from offering abortion coverage in their health plans greater than what the state allows in its employee health plan. Currently, the State Health Plan pays for abortion only in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at stake

The provisions with respect to the Affordable Care Act and local government coverage were not part of the bill as filed and were not available to the public before the morning committee meeting. They now make up the bulk of the bill.

The bill passed the House 67-38. It will be debated and voted on again Thursday before heading to the state Senate. 

Even without the contraception measure, the measure still angers liberal health advocacy groups. 

"Thousands of our activists contacted their representatives over the last three days to tell them that women – not employers or politicians – have the right to control their health decisions, including whether to use birth control," said Suzanne Buckley, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina. "We celebrate the defeat of this extreme, out-of-touch provision of HB 730 and turn our attention to the remaining provisions of HB 730 up for third reading tomorrow night."


This blog post is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Ouiser May 17, 2013

    'abortions due to accidents should be the financial responsibility of society.'

    how do you feel about the financial responsibility of society for all those unplanned/unwanted babies born from lack of access to BC and abortion?

  • rroadrunner99 May 16, 2013

    It seems to me that contraception would be a great idea, it would stop a lot of unwanted babies that possibly would end up on welfare, food stamps, and Wic along with other social programs that the Republicans want to cut to the bone so dearly. Well then Why do you want to make sure a woman will have to have a baby she may not want to have? Don't make sense to me. That sounds like you're cutting your nose off to spite your face.

  • corgimom06 May 16, 2013

    Mojo-my apologies and my bad!

  • Mojo May 16, 2013

    corgimom06, I was trying to be sarcastic. These Republicans even think they can tell people who they can love. Real conservatives from the 1950's would be ashamed of today's political party.

  • corgimom06 May 16, 2013

    I'm glad Republicans are not for "big government" that wants to get in between a citizen and their doctor like "Obama Care" does with the "death panels."

    Except there aren't any death panels. In fact, the death panel comment from Palin was the 'lie of the year' for 2009 according to Politifact.




  • Mojo May 16, 2013

    I'm glad Republicans are not for "big government" that wants to get in between a citizen and their doctor like "Obama Care" does with the "death panels."

  • teleman60 May 16, 2013

    States SHOULD NOT CONTROL reproductive rights individually.

    A woman is a US citizen with rights ANYWHERE IN AMERICA. Anyone who thinks we should have "this state treatment is legal but that state it is not" is dancing to the unconstitutional melody sung by every rightwing voice.

  • teleman60 May 16, 2013

    It's ok for men to get viagra BUT NOT contraception for women to keep from getting pregnant. What kind of twisted mentality lies behind all this PERSONAL RULES legislation?


  • sinenomine May 16, 2013

    jackflash123, I do see the "explanation" of being a single mom as ducking responsibility, yes. When you have a baby because it's cool and you have no clue as to how to support it and you let your own mother or grandmother or some state agency cope with raising the child while you go out and get pregnant again that IS ducking responsibility. I have seen this occur many times with some women having kids by four or five different men. If you want to bleed through your heart for people like this, that's fine by me, but don't ask me to follow suit.

  • corgimom06 May 16, 2013

    It is cheaper for an employer to provide health insurance WITH contraceptive coverage than without. Contraception is used for more things that just preventing pregnancy and it deals with the health of the woman as a whole.