ONTD Political

North Carolina Approves Bill Falsely Claiming Abortion Causes Pre-Term Birth

10:48 am - 06/28/2013
A contentious bill that would require health teachers to inform seventh-grade students that abortion—along with smoking, drinking, drug use, and lack of prenatal care—can affect carrying a pregnancy to full term, passed a first reading in the North Carolina house Wednesday. Although the abortion claim has no basis in medical fact, 73 state senators voted in favor of it.

The bill is an amended version of SB 132, which in its original form required teachers of seventh-grade health classes to tell students that abortion causes preterm birth; the new version lists abortion as a potential cause of preterm birth along with risk factors like drug and alcohol use. As Paige Johnson, vice president of external affairs for Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina, told RH Reality Check in early May when the bill was first introduced, there is “not a single national medical organization [that] recognizes a causal link between abortion and preterm birth.”

“This is nothing but a feel-good bill. It talks but doesn’t actually do anything,” said state Rep. Grier Martin (D-Wake), according to WRAL.com. “It tries to scare women, both young and old, in the decisions they make about their bodies.”

Rep. Martin is one of 44 state representatives who opposed the bill in what at some points was an emotional debate over privacy, health, the age appropriateness of the bill. and “bad personal choices,” according to some who witnessed it. However, the transcript of the proceedings will not be available; although one lawmaker who opposed the bill requested the debate be transcribed, he was thwarted by another colleague who supported the bill.

The bill is expected to receive a final vote in the house this week before going back to the senate for a final vote. If it is approved in both chambers, it would head to the the desk of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, who promised when he ran for governor in 2012 that he would not sign any abortion restrictions into law.

It’s a promise that Suzanne Buckley, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, told the News Observer she intends to hold him to. “I want to be very clear here,” she said. “We will consider anything less than a veto of legislation aimed at limiting access to abortion care as a breach of that promise.”

UPDATE, June 27, 2:15 p.pm EST: SB 132 has now passed both chambers of the state legislature and is heading to the governor for signature.

tigerdreams 28th-Jun-2013 03:09 pm (UTC)
I really want federal legislation making it illegal to require any educator or medical provider to disseminate information determined by all legitimate medical authorities to be false. Not penalizing the doctors and teachers themselves, but criminalizing the behavior of legislators and administrators who make and enforce such laws. It should not be legal to coerce an authority figure into lying to someone who trusts them to provide accurate information.
jasonbeast 28th-Jun-2013 03:30 pm (UTC)
Considering that the House Science Committee has members who are young-Earth creationists, I wouldn't expect that to happen anytime soon.
tigerdreams 28th-Jun-2013 03:33 pm (UTC)
Ugh. Yeah, it's a problem. This just brings me back to the idea of requiring some basic competency test to qualify for serving as a legislator. If you do not know WTF you're talking about, you shouldn't be allowed to make laws about it.

...My country depresses me.
jasonbeast 28th-Jun-2013 03:37 pm (UTC)
Yes, and then you get people screaming about "elitism." Sorry, I'd actually like the people running the country to be "elite," in the sense that they're smart and well-educated and making decisions based on factual knowledge.
tigerdreams 28th-Jun-2013 03:43 pm (UTC)
Exactly. It's not "elitism" to expect people to have the knowledge and training to be able to do the job you're hiring them for. You don't call a plumber to come fix your toilet if he's never held a wrench and doesn't know how a toilet works -- and you don't hire a legislator who lacks a basic understanding of American civics and enough familiarity with the fields about which they're legislating not to pass stupid laws.
liliaeth 28th-Jun-2013 06:08 pm (UTC)
I think the problem is that republicans over the years have managed to redefine elitism. Elitism should point at the rich and all their unfair privileges, not at people actually using their brains.
raisingirl99 28th-Jun-2013 06:42 pm (UTC)
Elitism should point at the rich and all their unfair privileges, not at people actually using their brains.

grace_om 28th-Jun-2013 06:36 pm (UTC)
I like it, but let's also include a ban on legislation that permits "doctors" to lie to their pregnant patients about the condition of their embryo/fetus to prevent the patient deciding to terminate due to abnormality.
chaya 28th-Jun-2013 07:45 pm (UTC)
Ugghhhh I'd forgotten about that one
gambitia 28th-Jun-2013 03:29 pm (UTC)
Well yes, an abortion would affect carrying the pregnancy to full-term, as an abortion explicitly ends the pregnancy.

I'm going to pretend that's what they're talking about.
eveofrevolution 29th-Jun-2013 08:24 pm (UTC)
This was my first thought.
recorded 28th-Jun-2013 03:30 pm (UTC)
jfc with this & ohio & texas
this shit is so depressing. women are people, they are not vessels for lives you wont give a shit about outside the womb. it woulda been nice to have a least a week of quiet from this dickfaces to bask in wendy's glory but noooo.
nitasee 28th-Jun-2013 03:40 pm (UTC)
Even Texas hasn't had a week of respite. Gov'ner Good Hair had already announce yet another special session of legislature to take up various business including another go at the same anti-abortion law. He's all but said that he will keep calling special sessions till he gets his way.

I wonder if Wendy's shoes are up for it?
yooperchild 28th-Jun-2013 03:33 pm (UTC)
This is stupid.

I never had an abortion, but my first pregnancy loss was a missed miscarriage and I had a d & c because my body wasn't miscarrying naturally.

My doctor told me multiple times the procedure would do NOTHING to affect any subsequent pregnancies..and it didn't. I've given birth to two perfectly healthy babies.

Scaring people with "medical advice" that isn't even true is terrible.
sesmo 28th-Jun-2013 05:35 pm (UTC)
Sorry for your loss. I had a late term abortion under the same circumstances. Makes desperately hope that doctors will continue to be trained in performing this life-saving procedure.

I don't know if you remember, Bush The Elder passed a law requiring doctors to lie. I was hoping it would get challenged on first amendment grounds (being forced to speak is also not ok) but it never was.
yooperchild 28th-Jun-2013 08:26 pm (UTC)
For your as well...I can't imagine later in the term. I would have been about 15-18 weeks...but the heart had stopped beating between 6-8, so it was more emotional than physical.

Mine wasn't life-saving, but mentally I was a wreck. I could stop crying, I was so depressed and I know there was things the doctor could have given me to force the miscarriage to occur, but he did the d & c, basically to save my mental state at the time and I'm totally thankful. He even knocked me completely out for it, so I didn't have to be awake through it.

I can't imagine a doctor not being able to help a patient. And I don't remember that law at all. What are they allowed to lie about? Anything?
mushroomnoomi 28th-Jun-2013 04:22 pm (UTC)
If I were a PSHE teacher (I'm a teaching assistant) I'd just ignore that to be honest. 7th graders can use google as well as anyone. That being said, I don't teach in America so I have no idea if you can lose your job for trying to teach the truth.
d00ditsemily 28th-Jun-2013 09:01 pm (UTC)
There was an amendment that got tabled that would give teachers/districts to opportunity to not teach it. :(
tigerdreams 28th-Jun-2013 10:09 pm (UTC)
I'd be tempted to say something like, "All right kids, listen up. I am legally required to tell you the following things. However, I am morally required to tell you that these things are lies. Please do not believe a single word of the statements I am about to read from this paper." Legal requirement satisfied, fuckers.
shoujokakumei 28th-Jun-2013 04:49 pm (UTC)
I had to read this several times before I realized they meant pre-term birth in FUTURE pregnancies.

I was like, "well, I guess you COULD look at it that way...?"
dearmisterecho 28th-Jun-2013 11:21 pm (UTC)
Yep, I thought the same, too.
magicpebble 28th-Jun-2013 05:10 pm (UTC)
Requiring people to teach something that just plain ISN'T TRUE is completely ridiculous and wrong. As though sex ed in this country isn't bad enough already.
fluffydragon 28th-Jun-2013 06:06 pm (UTC)
I am really really tired of my state.

rhysande 28th-Jun-2013 07:35 pm (UTC)
How much tax money is being wasted on this blatantly dishonest piece of legislation, which will undoubtedly continue to cost the people of North Carolina money as it wends it's way through the court system?

I'm sick and tired of legislators who waste time and state and federal tax dollars proposing, enacting, and, down the road, defending in court these ridiculous laws without regard for those who are adversely affected by not just the law but also the diversion of funds needed to defend it.
tabaqui 28th-Jun-2013 07:59 pm (UTC)
HOLY FUCK am i sick of abortion bullshite, sex-ed bullshite, and the various govts. of various states acting like fucking BULLIES and cheating just so they can get their way.

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