McCrory plans to veto abortion bill unless changes made

Posted July 10, 2013

Gov. Pat McCrory

— Gov. Pat McCrory said Wednesday that he will veto a House bill designed to adopt new restrictions on abortion clinics unless significant changes are made to the legislation prior to its passage by the House. 

Pointing to suggestions made Tuesday by Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos, McCrory said in a statement that House Bill 695 needs to be further clarified to ensure that it clearly protects the health and safety of women. 

McCrory also noted in his statement that major portions of the bill are of "sound principal and value." Even with a veto from McCrory, Republicans have large enough majorities in both the House and Senate to override it.

Suzanne Buckley, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, said in a statement Wednesday that the group is "encouraged" by McCrory's statement. NARAL launched the She Decides campaign in April to hold McCrory accountable to his campaign promise not to restrict abortions in the state.

"The thousands of messages sent to Gov. McCrory through our campaign have had a significant impact," Buckley said in a statement. "But the fight is far from over. We will continue to fight House Bill 695 to protect access to safe and legal abortion care in North Carolina."

Wos urged lawmakers Tuesday to slow down their efforts to pass the bill, saying some of the provisions need more study. 

In an unusual move, the House Health and Human Services Committee held a two-hour public hearing Tuesday on House Bill 695, which was passed last week by the Senate and needs only a concurrence vote by the full House to pass.

House leaders moved the bill back to committee after days of complaints by abortion-rights and good-government advocates, as well as McCrory, over the Senate's handling of the bill. The Senate used a late-day committee hearing to tack abortion measures onto an unrelated bill without public notice and rushed it through approval in less than 24 hours.

Bill sponsors contend that they are trying to improve the safety of abortion clinics statewide by requiring them to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers. Clinics also would have to have "transfer agreements" with nearby hospitals, which are roughly equivalent to the hospital granting the physicians admitting privileges, and physicians would have to be present with the patient throughout an abortion, whether surgical or drug-induced.

"It is not our goal to shut down every clinic in North Carolina," Rep. Ruth Samuelson, R-Mecklenburg, said Tuesday. "What we want to do is make them safer."

McCrory said Monday that he feels some of the provisions go beyond safety and wander into the realm of restricting abortions, which he opposes. Wos echoed that line Tuesday, saying "much uncertainty remains" in the bill's provisions.

"I urge you to follow the governor’s advice and leadership and spend more time studying these issues," she said.

Wos acknowledged that state regulations for abortion clinics need to be updated, saying that they haven't been changed since 1995. But said also noted that DHHS lacks the resources to inspect the clinics more than one every three to five years.

Republican lawmakers said they would work with Wos to resolve her concerns by the end of the week.


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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jul 12, 2013

    healls said, "[preventing pregnancy] is not rocket science."

    Correct. It's biology...namely hormones.

    If you studied either, or were just honest with yourself, you'd understand how powerful the human attraction is and how this, like alcohol, can override even the most mentally astute and disciplined people. E.g. former Senator John Edwards

  • healls Jul 11, 2013

    I used to work at my local Health Department. Birth control was NEVER dispensed without the person being fully informed of the fact that it isn't 100% full-proof and that certain drugs, or not taking the pills everyday, would impact its effectiveness. I have also used birth control myself in the past, and I was given all the same information. Who exactly are these people that aren't being informed? And I didn't learn this stuff at school, by the way, I learned it when I got my prescription. The problem is that people are too irresponsible to use it properly! Another human being shouldn't have to die because you're too ignorant to use birth control accurately or accept that pregnancy is a natural outcome of sex and is a possible risk. If you can't handle the risk, don't engage in the behavior or make darn sure you're protected! It's not rocket science.

  • healls Jul 11, 2013

    "...physicians would have to be present with the patient throughout the abortion, whether surgical or drug-induced."

    The bill says that they would only have to be present when the woman takes the drug to induce the abortion. And this is what the pharmaceutical company who makes the drug recommends, by the way. The doctor does NOT have to be there the entire time the chemical abortion is underway, which could take a couple of days.

  • ladyliberty1885 Jul 11, 2013

    To the person posting about the NY times slam piece?

    Here's your clue: http://www.thetarheelreport.com/2013/07/new-york-times-trashes-north-carolina/

  • SnakeLady Jul 10, 2013

    "...physicians would have to be present with the patient throughout the abortion, whether surgical or drug-induced."

    Why? They don't have to be present thoughout an actual birth...

    MOST of these politicians do NOT have a medical degree. They need to stop trying to practice medicine without a license.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jul 10, 2013

    @arfamr, since you asked about the Republicans war on women, where to start...

    -You lie about your motivation to “help” women and instead just want to restrict their rights. This is a pattern of behavior. E.g. Big Government amendment to our Constitution to take freedom & liberty from citizens, but you *say* you’re for less government.

    -You insert your nose between a woman and her doctor. Would you really want me between you and your doctor? Do you not see an iota of do-unto-others here?

    -You want to reduce access to cheap (free?) birthcontrol. But, what do you care? You can’t get pregnant.

    -You stifle sex education that empowers women to make the informed decisions about their own bodies. “Abstitenence works, baby...trust me. Don’t worry your pretty little head.”

    Basically, you think you know better than women and have the right to control women in a way that you would never allow to be done to you.


  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jul 10, 2013

    @arfamr, why are you just making stuff up? The abortion clinic was closed because they didn’t put a drop of test solution with a specific blood test. Sheesh.


    There were none of the things that you imagined...and then presented to the rest of the world as fact.

  • patriottim Jul 10, 2013

    Wait - McCrory supports abortion?

    Wish I'd have known that before I voted for him.

  • davidgnews Jul 10, 2013

    I still find it amazing that the very same people who are against killing convicted murderers are so much in favor of killing babies! I don't get it. oldschoolrules

    The opposite case can also be made, silly. How many of those convicted murderers (or inmates at large) were unwanted babies? Pick another tactic.

  • davidgnews Jul 10, 2013

    the kind of story that drives low information voters to make knee jrk decisions at the poles that affect EVERYONE.StateFan99

    Yes, like the current legislative majority's election. Thanks!