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House Tentatively Passes Abortion Bill

NC House
Jessica Jones

State lawmakers in the House have passed a bill that would prohibit some health plans from offering abortion coverage.

House Bill 730 would prohibit private health care plans offered under the Affordable Care Act from allowing abortion services. It would also allow any health care provider in the state to refuse to participate in an abortion. And it would prohibit cities and counties from offering abortion coverage except in cases of rape, incest, or if the life of the mother is at stake.

The bill's sponsors say the measure allows those who are opposed to abortion to exercise their conscience. But opponents, including Democratic Representative Deborah Ross, say the measure tramples women's rights.

"If private insurers not for religious reasons, but for these other moral reasons or their own choice, want to deny these rights to women, they are imposing their own views on captive employees, and that is just wrong," said Ross.

The measure will return to the House for a third reading today.

Jessica Jones covers both the legislature in Raleigh and politics across the state. Before her current assignment, Jessica was given the responsibility to open up WUNC's first Greensboro Bureau at the Triad Stage in 2009. She's a seasoned public radio reporter who's covered everything from education to immigration, and she's a regular contributor to NPR's news programs. Jessica started her career in journalism in Egypt, where she freelanced for international print and radio outlets. After stints in Washington, D.C. with Voice of America and NPR, Jessica joined the staff of WUNC in 1999. She is a graduate of Yale University.
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