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North Carolina Family, Faith, and Freedom Protection Act (HB 695)

This law was last updated on Oct 12, 2016


HB 695 is an anti-Sharia law bill which Senators rushed to pass after tacking on multiple abortion restrictions.

Conscience Protection

The bill would have allowed any nurse or health-care provider who states an objection to abortion on moral, ethical, or religious grounds to refuse to participate in any medical procedure resulting in an abortion. The bill would have prohibited any disciplinary action from being taken against a health-care provider for his or her refusal to participate in such medical procedures. In addition, the law states that no hospital or health-care institution can be required to perform an abortion or provide abortion services.

This provision is identical to a provision contained in HB 730.

Insurance Coverage Ban

The law would have prohibited qualified health plans offered through a state exchange under the Affordable Care Act from including coverage for abortion services. The coverage limitation would not have applied to an abortion performed when the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest, or if the life of the mother is endangered.

This provision is identical to a provision contained in HB 730.

Sex-Selective Abortion Ban

The bill would have prohibited the performance of an abortion with knowledge that the pregnant mother is seeking the abortion due to the sex of the unborn child. The physician would not have been required to inquire as to whether the sex of the unborn child is a significant factor in the pregnant woman seeking the abortion.

This provision is identical to H716 which was proposed and failed to pass earlier in the legislative session.

Amending Woman’s Right to Know Act

This bill would have amended the Women’s Right to Know Act, which requires, among other things, a 24-hour waiting period and an ultrasound before consent to an abortion will be considered voluntary and informed.

TRAP Provisions

  • Telemedicine Ban: Except in cases of medical emergency, the bill would have required the physician performing the abortion to inform the patient that the physician must be physically present during the procedure and on the premises immediately available to the patient while the patient is recovering from the procedure and until the patient leaves the premises. This information would have been required to be relayed to the patient 24 hours before the abortion.

This provision is virtually identical to a similar provision in S308 except that this version of the provision explicitly bans telemedicine whereas S308 was vague on that point.

  • Admitting Privileges: The bill also would have required abortion providers to have admitting privileges to a hospital located within 30 miles of where the abortion is performed.

This provision is identical to the admitting privileges provision S308, which was proposed and failed to pass earlier in the legislative session.

Informed Consent

The bill would have required the Department of Health to make available on the State Web site a list of resources the woman may contact for assistance upon receiving information from the physician performing the ultrasound that the unborn child may have a disability or serious abnormality.

This provision is identical to a provision S308, which was proposed and failed to pass earlier in the legislative session.

Ambulatory Surgical Center Requirement: The bill would have required that abortion clinics be held to the same standards as those applicable to ambulatory surgical centers.

STATUS

The bill passed the House on May 16, 2013 and the Senate on July 3, 2013, but was then taken off calendar and never signed into law.

The bill, which was originally a law preventing the application of foreign law (i.e, Sharia law) in the interpretation of contracts passed the Senate after multiple anti-choice restrictions were tacked on at the last minute, and notification of the hearing was provided to proponents of the bill but not to opponents.

Executive Director for NARAL Pro-choice North Carolina, Suzanne Buckley said about the Senate’s tactics, “It seems to me that they’re trying to pass under cover of darkness legislation that would not otherwise be passed. They’re trying to pull a Texas.” (Source.)

 


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