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North Carolina GOP Tack Multiple Abortion Restrictions Onto Sharia Law Bill

12:42 pm in Uncategorized by RH Reality Check

NC legislature

The North Carolina GOP is forcing through Texas-style abortion regulations.

Republicans in the Texas legislature have held not one but two special sessions to try and pass anti-choice legislation. Ohio Republicans bundled their abortion restrictions into the yearly budget bill to avoid debate. Now, in North Carolina, a bill meant to ban Sharia law has been amended to include multiple abortion restrictions that had been proposed earlier in the year.

HB 695, titled the “Family, Faith, and Freedom Protection Act,” was written to protect the state from the influences of “foreign law.” The bill was modified to include a ban on abortion coverage in insurance offered in the state health exchange, a ban on sex-selective abortions, changes to the Women’s Right to Know Act that would require a physician to be present during both surgical and medication abortions, additional protections for health-care providers who have “conscience” objections to assisting with abortion care, and a requirement that abortion clinics be held to the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers, requiring a transfer agreement with a local hospital, among other things. In short, the Sharia law bill combines a number of the pending abortion restrictions proposed throughout the North Carolina legislative session into one massive omnibus bill.

The revamped bill was unveiled late Tuesday evening; lobbyists in favor of the bill were reportedly being given notice prior to the evening’s committee meeting, but the bill’s opponents were not, according to WRAL.com. “This is a cowardly move intended to silence pro-choice voices because they know that if they show their extreme agenda in the light of day, they’ll hear from us,” Suzanne Buckley, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, said in a statement. “Within minutes of introducing these amendments, they’ve land on the Senate floor for a vote—in so little time that North Carolina’s pro-choice majority won’t be able to weigh in with the very legislators who represent them.”

The state senate is taking the bill up for a full debate and vote Wednesday at 9 a.m. (Livestream available here.)

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North Carolina: Marriage Rights (but Not Equal Rights) on the May 8th Ballot

11:51 am in Uncategorized by RH Reality Check

Written by Susanna J. Smith for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.<

North Carolina polls are open for early voting in the primary election, and the rights of unmarried couples are being put to a public referendum.

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I voted against North Carolina’s Amendment One, which seeks to amend the state constitution “to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in th[e] state.”

A recent Pew poll shows that nationally support for gay marriage is higher than ever —47 percent of Americans in favor of it; 43 percent opposing — but North Carolinians have tended to be less progressive on the issue. When Amendment One was introduced last September, public opinion polls reported that only 31 percent of North Carolinians were in favor of legalizing gay marriage, and 61 percent favored keeping it illegal.

The fate of the amendment to ban civil unions and gay marriage will be decided on May 8th, the official primary election day. Already at least one lawmaker, who played a critical role in getting the amendment on the ballot, has changed his mind about supporting it.

State Representative James Crawford was one of ten Democrats who supported putting the measure on the ballot. He has since said publicly he will vote against the amendment, it goes too far, amid impassioned outcries from constituents in the gay community.

Public opinion on the amendment is also changing, and advocates seeking to prevent the amendment’s passage are gaining ground. A new poll released last week shows:

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Dole Joins the Un-American, Communist, Baby-Killers, Murderers, Terrorist, Racist Far-Right Tactics with “Godless” Charge

10:44 am in Uncategorized by RH Reality Check

With just six days to go, I think far-right social conservatives are running out of names to call their opponents, but don’t underestimate the power of nasty.

Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), in her first attempt to be re-elected, is running an ad calling her opponent "Godless" because she accepted money from an organization of American voters who organized legally to express themselves politically and are atheist. Kay Hagan is not atheist, but she is running for office to represent all Americans, including atheists. Apparently Liddy Dole is not.

Disagree as I might politically with Dole, I never thought she would stoop so low, she didn’t seem like that kind of politician. Then again, her husband knows a thing or two about dirty tricks. In his first bid for re-election in Kansas, in 1974, he was in a very close race with popular Congressman Dr. Bill Roy, an ob/gyn, and in the last days before the election Bob Dole delivered photos of aborted fetuses in the form of door hangers into heavily Catholic precincts. Bob Dole won because tactics like that, then, were shocking.

After 35 years of far-right tactics that demean the intelligence of voters, one can hope the voters of North Read the rest of this entry →