Women's Rights

The NC GOP's extremist legislation leads to a litany of lawsuits

And it may be the people's only defense against an overreaching government:

Since Republicans took control of the General Assembly in 2011, the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, redrawn legislative and congressional district voting maps, a law requiring voters to present photo identification at the polls, a law requiring a doctor to narrate an ultrasound before providing an abortion, a law creating a "Choose Life" license plate and a budget provision eliminating the tenure rights of veteran teachers all have led to lawsuits against the state.

Michael Gerhardt, Samuel Ashe Distinguished Professor in Constitutional Law and director of the Center for Law and Government at the University of North Carolina School of Law, said he doesn't find the raft of lawsuits unusual. "When you have a legislature that was fairly aggressive like this one was to try and change a lot of areas of life in North Carolina, then you can expect some push-back," Gerhardt said.

Republicans are outraged that the courts became involved in these issues, but they should have thought about that when they decided to attack certain groups of citizens. Prejudice and misogynistic leanings have no place in the halls of government, and the products of those twisted beliefs should be challenged.

Death by a thousand cuts: how to TRAP women's rights

Keep your pink shirt handy, because it looks like we'll need to be even more vigilant than before:

"What we typically see is that abortion opponents are really active and in charge of the process," said Elizabeth Nash, the state issues manager at the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health think tank that supports abortion rights but whose research is respected by both sides. She said North Carolinians should expect that process to include a comment period, much back and forth between various governmental bodies, and probably public hearings. Nash said in Virginia, the clinic regulation process turned out to be very political. "It was not based on medical evidence," said Nash, "and was really about making it incredibly hard to open and operate an abortion clinic."

Not only do we need to keep an eye on how regulations will be developed, we also need to be prepared to fight future bills by looking at what stunts Republicans in other states have pulled:

DHHS closes another abortion clinic

And this is the only one that would have remained open under the original bill:

Wednesday’s action against Asheville’s Femcare came after similar sanctions earlier this year against clinics in Charlotte and Durham. Each of those closings came under current health laws. The new law, among other things, calls for DHHS to draw new standards for abortion clinics. Under an earlier version of the bill – which McCrory threatened to veto – Femcare would have been the only clinic to meet the more stringent standards.

This is not a coincidence, and it's not evidence that abortion clinics are "more dangerous" than other health care facilities. But it is evidence that Aldona Wos is mismanaging her resources in order to achieve a political agenda:

The GOP's "women's health" argument put to bed

Doctors are needed for abortions, but not for live births:

This Article may be cited as the "Home Birth Freedom Act."

The General Assembly makes the following findings:

(1) There is a need for a person to have the freedom to choose the manner, cost, and setting for giving birth. (2) Access to prenatal care and delivery services is limited by the inadequate number of providers of midwifery services, and the practice of midwifery may help to reduce this shortage. (3) There is a need for the safe and effective delivery of newborn babies and the health, safety, and welfare of their mothers in the delivery process. (4) In the interest of public health, the State should promote the regulation of the practice of midwifery for the purpose of protecting the health and welfare of women and infants. (5) Midwifery is a profession in its own right, and it is not the practice of medicine.

This diary is not intended to disparage those who believe in and/or practice home delivery via midwifery. But it demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that Republican claims of concern for women's health are merely a cloak to hide their true intent. And I'm surprised nobody has brought this up in debate yet. A lot more women die in childbirth than in pregnancy terminations, but Republicans are just fine with leaving the doctors out of that process:

The strange path of House Bill 695

The Strange Path of House Bill 695

The inflammatory N.C. House Bill 695, subject of the late-night voodoo in the N.C. Senate on July 2, was first introduced in the North Carolina General Assembly on April 9 of this year. At the time it carried the short title of "Foreign Laws/Protect Constitutional Rights," because it was ostensibly designed to ensure that the United States Constitution and the laws of North Carolina would be safe from the application of "foreign law."

More specifically, this odd little bill proclaimed that it would be the "public policy of this state to protect its citizens from the application of foreign law that would result in the violation of a legal or constitutional right of a natural person."

ERA ALERT: “Simple Justice, Long Overdue”

NC NOW (National Organization for Women)
Wed., May 15, 2013, Noon – 2:00 pm NC4
ERA ALERT

After more than 40 years, North Carolina will walk back onto the historical stage with an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) Action coming on the heels of Mother’s Day.

Join us on Wed., May 15, 2013, Noon – 2:00 pm, on the grounds of the NC Legislative Bldg. for a vigil - “Simple Justice, Long Overdue”

New regulation needed for "crisis pregnancy centers"

Women deserve better:

Chapel Hill’s town council has adopted a resolution calling on the General Assembly to promote unbiased medical information for pregnant women, free of what it calls the intimidation and harassment in “crisis pregnancy centers” – organizations that attempt to persuade women not to have abortions.

And here are a few words from NARAL Pro-Choice in NC:

McCrory's cleverly-worded abortion promise

Learning to deceive from the masters of deception:

But what's McCrory going to do if a controversial piece of abortion legislation shows up on his desk? He said he doesn't see the need for any abortion legislation and that, from conversations with Speaker of the House Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, he doesn't see any coming.

If anybody out there is foolish enough to equate "doesn't see" with a "no" answer, they need a crash course in critical reading. First of all, "doesn't see" is a temporal classification, leaving flexibility for new data input. Secondly (and less technical), the phrase is a classic tool of the deceiver, and is most often used when they believe it will likely come in handy down the road. Like when a bill that's been cooling its heels in Committee finally gets the right combination of a supermajority and a GOP Governor:

Men's advice column: How to behave around women

Between some troubling incidents I've personally witnessed recently, and several statutory changes enacted or put forward by misogynistic dinosaurs going around dressed like normal human men, I figured it was about time for another lecture. Now, this may piss a few of you guys off, but guess what? I don't care. If I can plant a seed in that moribund pile of mush you call a brain, it's worth the effort.

Women's rights rally this Saturday in Raleigh

On Saturday, April 28th, North Carolina will join a host of other states in holding a rally for women's rights. The rally is being sponsored by numerous organizations from across the state, including groups representing women's healthcare rights, voting rights, leadership in government, pay equity and more. All are welcome. It's supposed to be a beautiful day and I hope a lot of BlueNC-ers will join us. Details below.

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