Mayors, women call on McCrory to veto abortion bill

Posted July 25, 2013

Petitions containing more than 35,000 signatures were dropped off at the State Capitol on July 25, 2013, calling on Gov. Pat McCrory to veto any abortion-related legislation that comes to his desk.

— Petitions containing more than 35,000 signatures were dropped off at the State Capitol Thursday afternoon, calling on Gov. Pat McCrory to veto any abortion-related legislation that comes to his desk in the coming days.

"Gov. McCrory, trust is an important part of being a leader," the petitions state. "You promised you wouldn't sign any bill that would restrict a woman's right to choose. Keep your word and veto any legislation that would restrict women's reproductive rights."

During a campaign debate last fall, McCrory said he wouldn't endorse any new restrictions on abortion. Yet, he has backed a bill the House passed two weeks ago that calls for added regulations on abortion clinics.

"It's a breach of his campaign promise. He was very clear he wouldn't support any more restrictions on abortion care in North Carolina," said Suzanne Buckley, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina.

"We're watching. We're paying attention. We're going to hold you accountable for this," Buckley said. "We're hoping the governor changes his mind."

It was unclear whether McCrory saw the petitions. A spokesman said the governor was in meetings all day.

McCrory and bill supporters say the regulations, which would require clinics to meet the same standards as outpatient surgery centers and require a physician to be present for all procedures, are designed to improve the health and safety of women.

"This bill does not restrict access. It simply raises the health and safety standards for women," said Rep. Ruth Samuelson, R-Mecklenburg.

Thousands of petitions delivered to McCrory Thousands of petitions delivered to McCrory

Republican lawmakers say the changes are needed, but abortion rights advocates contend that they would force all but one abortion clinic statewide to shut down because of the extensive renovations they would require.

"There will always be the hospital option. There will always be the ambulatory care surgery center option," Samuelson said, "but these clinics should be willing to make health and safety their top priority."

Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt and dozens of other city and county officials in North Carolina who signed the petition say the argument of trying to improve women's safety rings false, noting the bill also prohibits them from offering abortion coverage to their employees, except in cases of rape or incest or if the mother's life is endangered.

"This isn't just an intrusion into a woman's constitutional right to make her own reproductive health care decisions. It's an intrusion into local government," Kleinschmidt said. "A woman who works for the Town of Chapel Hill, her safety and health are strengthened, not weakened if we can provide her comprehensive health care coverage."

"There's a lot of people who do not feel like the government should be paying for abortions," Samuelson said. "They still want abortion legal and they still want it safe, which is the rest of the bill, but they don't feel like taxpayers should have to pay for it."


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  • nashville1966 Jul 25, 2013

    Govrnor MCrory, sign the bill. Abortion clinics are no better than any other clinic and should be regulated the same. Don't let the Mike Easley/Mike Nifong/Reverend Barber stir you wrong

  • Justic4All Jul 25, 2013

    I saw the Mayors speech. He wasn't against the bill as much as he wanted the public to know he was having a tough time negotiating medical benefit coverage for his staff. Every time WRAL reporter asked him about the bill, being a true politician he hemmed a little, hawed a little and then started talking about himself. It was free air time where he was allowed to voice something about something the bill has nothing to do with. The bill does not close clinics that meet the new standards they all must now live by. It's about time NC comes out of the coat hanger stone age. The people keep saying they will be forced to go to the coat hangers. Nobody is forcing them to do anything, that's their choice or they can go to a clean, well equipped and properly staffed clinic that is well prepared to react should complications or emergencies arise. What is wrong with you people?

  • Krimson Jul 25, 2013

    "Maybe we should spend a little more money giving our children a solid education"

    The GOP led GA just cut $5.5 million for the Wake County Public School budget... As you said: "stupid, stupid stupid"...

  • ncschnauz Jul 25, 2013

    Maybe we should spend a little more money giving our children a solid education so they can make smart decisions in the first place, and have something better to do than get pregnant when they aren't ready and do not have the means to care for a child. Oh wait, we can't do that because the same people pushing through the abortion legislation also want to cut spending in public education. They don't want to provide for welfare, yet, through all these various measures, they will more than likely be causing more population to NEED welfare. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

  • indrdw Jul 25, 2013

    The so called representatives that want this bill would like to see abortion stopped in 'their' state because of their religious beliefs. Same as they wanted amendment one passed. I for one thing abortion is not the best choice but then again I have not had to make this decision. In the end they want to make it so hard for clinics to operate that they close. All that needs to be done is that the inspections that are supposed to be made are done. If the inspection does not pass they close a clinic until they are up to code. Duh? Our laws should not be made because of someones' religious belief.

  • bmac813 Jul 25, 2013

    Stick to your Gun's Pat, OOPS Maybe I shouldn't have put it that way.

  • jttm69 Jul 25, 2013

    Thousands of doctors and the Supreme Court disagree with you Sonny. So how about you keep your religious views to yourself.