RALEIGH – The North Carolina House of Representatives today approved a sweeping bill that would restrict access to abortion care for many women in North Carolina. H.B. 730 would allow public hospital employees to refuse to participate in abortion care if they object to such practices on religious or moral grounds, prohibit local governments from offering health plans that include abortion coverage to employees, and prohibit health care plans offered through the exchange under the Affordable Care Act from offering coverage for elective abortion procedures. The bill now heads to the Senate.
In response, the ACLU of North Carolina (ACLU-NC) released the following statement:
“This bill is just the latest example of politicians trying to take away women’s ability to make their own personal medical decisions,” said Sarah Preston, ACLU-NC Policy Director. “The provisions dealing with so-called ‘conscious’ protections turn the entire definition of religious liberty on its head. True religious liberty means that every individual has the right to make deeply personal decisions – including medical decisions – for themselves, based on their own beliefs. It does not mean that politicians or hospital workers get to force their own views on women by restricting their options on matters as personal and critical as reproductive health care. We urge the Senate to reject H.B. 730.”