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Lawmakers Push Slew Of Controversial Bills

Seal of North Carolina
North Carolina Government
North Carolina Government

Lawmakers were on a tear in the North Carolina General Assembly this past week, pushing forward a slew of controversial bills.

The Senate tentatively passed a bill requiring seventh-graders to be taught that abortion can lead to premature delivery in future pregnancies. The controversy there came about because the medical conclusion is based on disputed science.

"I feel emotional about this one," said singer-songwriter Laurelyn Dossett during a State of Things news roundtable. "I have three daughters...I find it so offensive when science is used in that way."

Legislation requiring parental consent for teenagers who want STD treatment or birth control is making its way through the House. Some think that it could be counterproductive if passed.

"I just think that if this becomes law, it's going to do exactly what they don't want it to do," said Elin O'Hara Slavick, an art professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "There are going to be more pre-teen pregnancies."

She said that if teens are afraid of telling their parents, they might choose instead not to buy birth control or get treatment.  

Also, a bill passed the House allowing gun owners to carry their firearms onto college campuses and in restaurants. Randall Kenan, an associate professor of English at UNC said that after the murder of student body president Eve Carson a few years back, there was a discussion on campus, mostly among women, about whether personal protection was needed. But ultimately, he said, it seemed a bad idea.

"I think it became quickly apparent that the cons outweighed the pros," he said.

Senate Republicans also announced their plan for sweeping tax reform measures, including a cut in the sales tax and an expansion in who it applies to.

"It's an enormous task," said    on the State of Things, adding later. "This is probably going to be a long term endeavor. It's not something that can be decided in a week or a month or even a year."

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