Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The path to avoid the N.C. abortion bill

Looks like a path has been cleared that would allow Gov. Pat McCrory and House Speaker Thom Tillis a way to avoid - for now - the taint of a bill that would restrict abortions for women in North Carolina.

In comments to the House Health Committee this morning, N.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos told lawmakers that hasty legislation isn't the best way to ensure the health of women and safety of abortion clinics. The best way involves study - and staffing.

House Bill 695, which was sprung on the state just before the July 4 holiday, is similar to measures in other states that circumvent the law with provisions designed to put abortion clinics out of business. 
Wos said that her staff needs time to discern the implications of the bill, which places costly and restrictive mandates on abortion clinics and doctors. Wos also indicated that she'd love for those clinics to be more frequently inspected, but that it's impossible to do with an HHS staff of only 10.

The message: If health and safety really are the issue for lawmakers, then how about putting some time and money where your concern is?

McCrory hinted at some of the same in remarks to reporters Monday, saying the bill was complicated and required study to sift out which regulations actually improved health and safety - and which were merely designed to restrict abortion.

Taking that time would allow McCrory, for now, a way to honor a vow he made as a candidate last October not to sign abortion restrictions into law. Tillis, who has a 2014 run for the U.S. Senate to consider, surely doesn't want to be the House Speaker who allowed such a bill to pass. 

Wos, a McCrory appointee, gave her boss and the Speaker some political cover this morning. Tillis now has a cabinet-level rationale to stop HB695 from coming to a House vote.

Update, 1:34 p.m.: Republican Rep. Ruth Samuelson is doing her best to block any escape route Tillis and McCrory might have. At the end of Monday's meeting, she announced that HB695 was a good bill and that its sponsors would talk with Health and Human Services before passing it. That talk might delay passage of the bill some, but Samuelson said she hopes for a vote before the session adjourns. 

Peter St. Onge   


Because we want it said...

I read the bill. I don't see what the concerns are. There is nothing here stating that the clinics can not come up to the standard that is being set.

Is having the Dr with priviledges in a hostipal that bad?

I know that if my daughter has to go in for a procedure i want her to have every chance in the world of coming out healthy. and that a major medical procedure is not carried out in the back of a strip mall with no plan for an emergency. Or worse yet the professional doing the work is not inspected or held to the same standards as a Dr. or medical facility.

I think that his is irrational fear.

Exactly the same way the gun regulation proposal was all irrational.