Controversial abortion bill set to go to NC House on Tuesday - | WBTV Charlotte

Controversial abortion bill set to go to NC House on Tuesday


The controversial abortion bill that passed the state senate and sparked angry protests on Wednesday is now set to go before the state house, making it one step closer to becoming law.

But many across the state, including political observers are closely watching how this will play out.

Furious protests both in and out of the legislative building on Wednesday may grow louder next week when the House takes up HB 695 that would place new regulations on abortion clinics in North Carolina.

Supporters say the aim is to make clinics safer for women, but opponents, such as Planned parenthood's Melissa Reed say it's not necessary.

"Abortion clinics in North Carolina are already regulated," Reed told WBTV. "We have annual inspections, we have to have a permit that is renewed every year and not only that, all of our medical doctors are licensed by state boards and have to have continuing medical education and meet certain practice standards so we are heavily regulated and this is a very safe procedure."

"Well I think abortion is murder," said Ruby Simpson of Rowan County. Simpson told WBTV that she is opposed to abortion, but supports the bill if it will make clinics safer.

"If they're going to do it, I don't know what else to say, but I really think they ought to clean their act up," Simpson said.

So what happens next? Bill sponsor Senator Warren Daniel, a Republican representing Burke and Cleveland Counties, told WBTV what to expect.

"It will be placed on the House calendar for concurrence," Daniel said. "The House will have to decide if they want to concur with the bill or not concur, if they concur it goes to the governor for signature."  If it's not concurred then it will go to conference to work out the differences in the bill."

The bill can still become law even without the signature of Governor Pat McCrory. In the past McCrory stated he would not sign legislation that would put more restrictions on abortion. 

Catawba College Political scientist Dr. Michael Bitzer says if passed, it puts North Carolina in a unique position regarding abortion access.

"This would basically put the state in the league of states like Texas that are considering the same kind of restrictions and a handful of other states that are basically Republican led, Republican controlled," Bitzer told WBTV on Friday. 

"This is the way they are going about attacking the abortion issue and fulfilling their campaign promises to social conservatives." 

Bitzer also pointed out that the bill could create an interesting situation for North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis. Tillis has already announced his intention to run for the United States Senate. 

"Basically speaker Tillis is putting himself between a rock and a hard place I think," Bitzer said. If he does decide to push this kind of tight regulations on abortion through, this is really going to appease the social conservatives within his party that he needs to get the primary election but it could also hamper him in the general election when he needs moderates. If he chooses not to push this kind of strict regulation through, you'll probably see a challenge from the right in the primary nomination ballot."

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