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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Reproductive Rights

RALEIGH – The North Carolina House of Representatives today approved a sweeping bill that would restrict access to abortion care for many women in North Carolina. H.B. 730 would allow public hospital employees to refuse to participate in abortion care if they object to such practices on religious or moral grounds, prohibit local governments from offering health plans that include abortion coverage to employees, and prohibit health care plans offered through the exchange under the Affordable Care Act from offering coverage for elective abortion procedures. The bill now heads to the Senate.

In response, the ACLU of North Carolina (ACLU-NC) released the following statement:

“This bill is just the latest example of politicians trying to take away women’s ability to make their own personal medical decisions,” said Sarah Preston, ACLU-NC Policy Director. “The provisions dealing with so-called ‘conscious’ protections turn the entire definition of religious liberty on its head. True religious liberty means that every individual has the right to make deeply personal decisions – including medical decisions – for themselves, based on their own beliefs. It does not mean that politicians or hospital workers get to force their own views on women by restricting their options on matters as personal and critical as reproductive health care. We urge the Senate to reject H.B. 730.”    

RALEIGH – A bill that would allow public hospital employees to refuse to participate in abortion care and private employers to deny contraception coverage to women because of their personal religious beliefs was approved by North Carolina House Judiciary Committee A today.

House Bill 730 now heads to the full House for a vote. In response, the ACLU of North Carolina (ACLU-NC) released the following statement:

“This bill would undermine a woman’s ability to make personal medical decisions and is the opposite of religious liberty,” said Sarah Preston, ACLU-NC Policy Director. “Politicians, employers, and hospital workers should not be allowed to force their personal religious views on women of different beliefs by making it harder for them to receive comprehensive and sometimes life-saving health care. We urge lawmakers to stand up for women and their right to make their own personal medical decisions by opposing House Bill 730.”  

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Today the North Carolina House of Representatives approved H.B. 716, a bill that would fine doctors for performing an abortion where sex selection is a “significant factor” in a woman's decision. It now heads to the state Senate. In response, the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina (ACLU-NC) released the following statement: 

“This bill undermines women who make the difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy by suggesting that they might do so for trivial reasons and should not be trusted to make their own health care decisions,” said ACLU-NC Policy Director Sarah Preston, who testified against the bill during a May 1 committee hearing. “Most North Carolinians agree that the government has no business placing itself between a woman and her doctor, but this vaguely worded bill would do just that, forcing health care providers to become interrogators out of fear of litigation from people who may have no relationship to the patient. We urge the Senate to reject H.B. 716.”

Read more about the ACLU-NC’s position on H.B. 716 here.

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RALEIGH – Today the state of North Carolina announced that it would appeal a December ruling from a U.S. District Court that found the state’s plan to offer state drivers a “Choose Life” license plate but not an alternative plate with a pro-choice message was unconstitutional. The state gave notice today that it will officially appeal that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation (ACLU-NCLF) originally filed a lawsuit against the state’s one-sided license plate scheme in September 2011. In a Dec. 7, 2012, ruling, Judge James C. Fox concluded, “the State’s offering of a Choose Life license plate in the absence of a pro-choice plate constitutes viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment.”

"It's unfortunate that the state has chosen to prolong what is really a very clear-cut First Amendment issue,” said Chris Brook, ACLU-NCLF Legal Director. “The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has consistently ruled that any time the government creates an avenue for private speech, it cannot restrict that avenue to only one side of a contentious debate. This case is ultimately about the right of North Carolinians of all political beliefs to have equal access to avenues for the free expression of ideas, and we look forward to making our arguments before the Court of Appeals."

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