There are events that make you wonder if you live where you thought you did or if you woke up in, say, Saudi Arabia. If not Saudi Arabia, then possibly a more conservative state like Texas or Mississippi. Or even Ohio. Or maybe you still do live in the state but wonder if you’ve been transported back in time, and it is actually 1953 or 1933 and not 2013.
The War on Women has come to North Carolina. I watched the hateful and horrifying attempts to limit women’s reproductive freedom in Ohio and Texas. I was disgusted by the personhood initiatives in Mississippi and other states. You always think it can’t happen in your state until it does. I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, the new conservative majority in the NC General Assembly passed Amendment One and tried to establish a state religion. Last week, the General Assembly approved a bill that would force educators to spread false information about abortion. And, starting July 1, 70,000 North Carolinians, including military personnel, lost extended unemployment benefits thanks to a new law; another almost 100,000 will lose benefits once their time ends. The thought process is that the loss of the cushy benefits will encourage citizens to find work. That might work if there were jobs to be found.
But the General Assembly’s actions yesterday take the cake and bring home the seriousness of the changes in North Carolina. HB695 was a bill that would prohibit the application of foreign law in family court. Late yesterday, the Senate decided to amend the bill to include major restrictions on abortion:
- Doctors would be required to remain in the room whether it is a medical or surgical abortion
- Abortion clinics must go through licensing procedures similar to outpatient surgical centers (there is one clinic that would qualify)
- Clinics must have transfer agreements with local hospitals
The end result is that it will be extremely difficult for a woman to obtain a safe, legal abortion in North Carolina. Let me reiterate: a legal abortion.
The Senate hoped to avoid demonstrations and news coverage like Texas faced last week, but thanks to social media, that was impossible. Protesters have rallied outside the General Assembly. However, unlike Texas, we can’t filibuster this bill to death.
Y’all, I’m scared and anxious. This is not the North Carolina I grew up with. And I’m pissed and angry because I am fucking tired of old white men (and women) trying to decide my reproductive choices. Treating me as if I am not entitled or able to make medical decisions for myself. Deciding that the life of the unborn is more important than my own life; until that life gets here of course. Then it’s every child for him or herself. Better hope your only option for pre-k isn’t the state’s program because chances are, you’re shit out of luck with this legislature. Better hope you can afford private school because this legislature hates the public school system too.
I’m tired of it. NC General Assembly: get out of my uterus and stay out. You are destroying my state and the progress we made over the last 60 years. Maybe you should go read that Bible you’re so fond of quoting; I think you might be surprised at what you find.
As expected, the bill passed the Senate and now returns to the House for a final vote.
For shame, North Carolina.