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Posted: 6:31 a.m. Thursday, July 11, 2013
By Scott Wickersham
RALEIGH, N.C. —
Members of the North Carolina House debated an updated abortion bill Thursday. Republicans are trying to push the bill through before the end of session. Gov. Pat McCrory said Wednesday he would veto the Senate abortion bill, so the House quickly made changes and tacked a new bill onto legislation about motorcycle safety. The quick changes and lack of public notice angered Democrats and women's rights groups while Republicans said it will save lives. Some lawmakers called the bill a violation of women's rights. Supporters said the tougher health standards for clinics are long overdue. Democrats said the tougher safety rules, like forcing a doctor to be present at all times, are meant to shut clinics down. Cindy Thomson, a Charlotte representative for the National Organization for Women, said "any type of restriction to access when a woman needs abortion care is a dangerous health issue." "Much of this legislation is designed to limit the number of abortions but what it does is put women's health in danger," she added. David Hains with Charlotte's Catholic Diocese points to state inspections of some clinics that had disturbing finds. "Bloody instruments, using drugs improperly," he said. He argued the bill will keep women safe. "I still object to abortion, but women should not be subjected to unsafe procedures," he said. While the sides don't agree, Republicans hold the upper hand in Raleigh. After making changes that McCrory asked for, the bill could be on a fast track to becoming law.
The bill passed a second and third reading in the House on Thursday. A House clerk said it goes back to the Senate. If they approve it without changes, it heads to McCrory for his signature.
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