Abortion

A tan hand holding an IUD.
Sarah Mirk / Creative Commons

Planned Parenthood pulled out of the Title X program Monday after the Department of Health and Human Services ruled that clinics receiving Title X funding may not refer patients to abortion providers. After months of threats, Planned Parenthood refused to abide by the ruling and opted to give up federal money in favor of maintaining abortion services.  In North Carolina, Planned Parenthood affiliates were stripped of federal funding in May.

Speaker of the House Tim Moore (left) converses with Representative Nelson Dollar (right) during a break on debate of the state budget at the State Capitol on June 21, 2017.
Matt Couch / WUNC

The North Carolina General Assembly's Republican leadership has been holding up a vote on Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of the "Born Alive" bill. Republican House Speaker Tim Moore said he will continue to do so until he thinks his party has rallied enough veto-override votes.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

New abortion legislation is sweeping the country, with states introducing ever-more polarizing bills to constrict and expand access. With Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the bench, legislatures in states like Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi are pushing the envelope as they presume the Supreme Court may be receptive to rolling back or overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized the procedure. North Carolina has been issuing legislation aimed at restricting abortion providers, patients and employers since 2011.

Bill Herndon / Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/wrherndon/4588634635

Earlier this week Alabama’s governor signed into law an effective ban on abortion in the state. Other states, like Missouri, Louisiana and Ohio are also moving in a similar direction.

A vote on what would be the country's most restrictive abortion ban was postponed in the Alabama Senate on Thursday after chaos erupted over the stripping of an amendment to allow exceptions in the case of rape or incest.

Anti-Abortion License Plate
ncchoose-life.org

North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a measure Thursday written by Republicans and backed by social conservatives that addresses a doctor's responsibilities if a later-term abortion results in an infant born alive.

North Carolina Republican lawmakers could soon reach their first legislative showdown with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper since his party increased House and Senate seat totals during the last elections.

Anti-Abortion License Plate
ncchoose-life.org

North Carolina legislators re-entered the highly charged fight over abortion on Wednesday, as Senate Republicans advanced a bill requiring physicians and nurses to care for children born alive after the procedure.

A woman advocates for abortion and reproductive rights at a Moral Mondays protest rally at the capitol.
Matthew Lenard

A federal judge has declared unconstitutional a North Carolina law banning women from having abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy except in an urgent medical emergency.

woman holds sign as man speaks into microphone
Marc Faletti / Rewire Media

As some states move to crack down on abortion clinics, protests at some facilities are heating up. In North Carolina scores of activists descend every weekend on A Preferred Women’s Health Center, an abortion clinic in Charlotte. Calla Hales, the director of the clinic, says anti-abortion protestors have become increasingly aggressive, and local police navigate a gray-zone of enforcing city ordinances.

Criminal: The Procedure

Jul 7, 2017
JULIENNE ALEXANDER/CRIMINAL

Abortion has been legal in the United State for almost 45 years, but before it was, seeking an abortion was very dangerous. This week's Criminal podcast tells the story of a covert network of clergy who organized to help women get illegal abortions in the late 1960s. 

Abortion rates in North Carolina and the United States
Guttmacher Institute

North Carolina's abortion rate has inched up since 2011, even as the national rate continues a long and steady decline, according to new figures released by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports legalized abortion.

Lady Parts Justice League Graphic
Courtesy of Lady Parts Justice League

Hundreds of thousands of American women terminate pregnancies each year. But in the past decade, state governments around the country have enacted a series of laws that reproductive justice advocates argue impede women's access to safe, legal abortion.

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie
kenrudinpolitics.com

The United States Supreme Court issued decisions this week in several high profile cases related to abortion restrictions and immigration regulations.

The high court also agreed to hear North Carolina's redistricting suit. Their decisions could affect voters in November.

New Laws In North Carolina

Jan 7, 2016
North Carolina legislative building
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

A new year means new laws on the books. The state now requires doctors performing abortions after the 16th week to send ultrasounds to state health officials. Supporters say it protects women’s health, but opponents say the law violates patient privacy and is meant to intimidate physicians.

Plus, when you head to the polls in March, you’ll now need a photo ID due to a law passed in 2013 that goes into effect this year. 

Photo: North Carolina license plates
Flickr User Eugena Ossi

Almost two dozen laws will go into effect on Jan. 1, impacting issues including health, transportation and firearm ownership in North Carolina.

An image of the Supreme Court
Kjetil Ree / Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected North Carolina officials' appeal to revive a requirement that abortion providers perform, display and describe an ultrasound for a pregnant woman before she has an abortion.

Image of the North Carolina Legislative Building in Raleigh, North Carolina
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Jmturner

The legislature considers controversial measures on gun regulations and magistrates performing same-sex marriages.

And Governor Pat McCrory says he will sign a bill that increases the waiting period for an abortion, a move that contradicts his campaign promise. 

Photo: Craig Johnson (left) and Shawn Long (center) with their son Isaiah Johnson.
Equality NC

North Carolina lawmakers pushed through two of the year’s most controversial measures on Wednesday afternoon, limiting debate and quickly ushering proposals that could reduce some same-sex couples’ access to marriage ceremonies and extend the waiting period for abortion procedures.

While House and Senate members debated in separate hearings, the measures over gay marriage and abortions are intertwined social issues that attract vigorous advocacy from conservative and liberal groups.

NC Legislative building
NC General Assembly

State lawmakers passed nearly 100 bills in two days to meet this session's crossover deadline, the time when non-budgetary measures have to pass at least one chamber of the General Assembly to stay alive.  

Bills about the death penalty, education policy and environmental regulations are among those that still have legs.

Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC capitol reporter Jorge Valencia and WUNC education policy reporter Reema Khrais about the measures that survived or failed to meet the crossover deadline.

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie
kenrudinpolitics.com

A controversial bill that would have outlawed any state action that might burden one's exercise of religion is dead in the North Carolina House. 

Republican leaders said they are dropping the Religious Freedom Act to focus on legislation to boost the economy and create jobs.

House lawmakers also voted yesterday to extend the waiting period for abortions from one day to three. 

The Durham police department.
Ildar Sagdejev / Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Department of Justice has confirmed racial discrepancies when it comes to gun-related violence in Durham. 

 The report released yesterday shows that from 2009 to 2012, the homicide rate for young black men in Durham was eight times higher than the national average.

Photo: Rep. Jacqueline Schaffer (R-Mecklenburg)
Jorge Valencia

A pregnant woman seeking an abortion would be required to speak to a medical provider and wait for three days before she can have the procedure under a plan approved by a North Carolina legislative committee on Wednesday.

The proposed law, which got its first nod in a House of Representatives committee, would increase abortion wait time from one day and would require physicians to report information about the abortion to state health officials.
 

The House debated SB 353 today.
Screen Shot, WRAL Broadcast

Republican lawmakers are proposing changes to North Carolina abortion laws. A bill filed Wednesday would ban employees at state university medical schools from performing abortions and require a longer waiting period before the procedure is allowed.

The North Carolina General Assembly is back to work in Raleigh and lawmakers are filing dozens of bills.

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper
N.C. Democratic Party

Attorney General Roy Cooper says he'll continue to criticize Republican policies during the legislative session that begins Wednesday, hinting once again hinting that he might run for governor in 2016.  
 

At a luncheon held by the women’s group Lillian's List, Cooper told a few hundred Democrats that he supports issues such as abortion rights and expanding Medicaid in North Carolina.

He hasn't announced his candidacy for governor, but he’s widely seen as the most likely Democrat to try to unseat Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.

Renee Ellmers
http://beta.congress.gov/

Another battle over abortion regulations played out in Washington this week. This time, the conflict was within the Republican Party over a bill in the House that would have banned abortions beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) led the opposition, but put her support behind a new measure that would cut all federal funding for the procedures.

Meanwhile, a North Carolina judge heard arguments about new proficiency standards for public schools. He's considering whether they meet the constitutional mandate of a "sound, basic education."

Flickr user Etolane

A North Carolina law that requires abortion providers to take a woman's sonogram and describe it to her in detail is unconstitutional because it violate's the woman's free speech rights, a U.S. appeals court said on Monday.

A three-judge panel on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond unanimously ruled that the state cannot require physicians to disseminate its message discouraging abortions. The ruling upholds a district judge's decision.

Illustration: Cadeceus
Flickr user takomabibelot

Dozens of people advocating for and against abortion rights filled a room at the North Carolina health department headquarters on Friday morning to respond to proposed rules that will apply to the 14 clinics that provide abortion in the state.

Illustration: Cadeceus
Flickr user takomabibelot

North Carolina health officials have proposed updating regulations governing clinics that provide abortions, in compliance with a 2013 law that requires them to be treated like outpatient surgery centers.

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