You might remember HB695 (previously covered here) as the bill that would outlaw the recognition of Sharia law in North Carolina (which is, um, kind of odd when you consider that foreign laws don’t apply here to begin with), but that was before the Senate got ahold of it.
Now it’s the not-at-all ominous sounding “Family, Faith, and Freedom Protection Act,” which was rammed through the Senate in a period of under twenty four hours directly before the July 4 break. In addition to banning Sharia Law, the bill prohibits State insurance plans from covering any elective abortion procedures, and more importantly adds restrictions on abortion clinics which are intended to be cost prohibitive to meet (there is only one facility in NC which would even meet the physical requirements presently, not to mention the contractual requirements to partner with a hospital).
The legislation is modeled after similar bills which have appeared in Texas and other flyover states, and it wouldn’t technically outlaw abortion directly, but by making it virtually impossible to operate a clinic in the state they hope to create a de facto ban on the practice here.
McCrory was actually a little irked by this one:
“When the Democrats were in power, this is the way they did business. It was not right then and it is not right now,” the governor said in a statement. “Regardless of what party is in charge or what important issue is being discussed, the process must be appropriate and thorough.”
This is really interesting, since McCrory promised on the campaign trail that he wouldn’t sign legislation that restricted access to abortion. That doesn’t necessarily mean much in NC, since the governor can simply opt to do nothing and allow the bill to become law without a signature, but this could be an opportunity for McCrory to show a backbone by vetoing the thing if/when it does appear on his desk.
The bill now goes back to the House, and I wouldn’t even hazard a guess as to what will happen to it there. We live in, um, interesting times.
Oh, and the GOP in NC is starting to attract some serious national attention lately with such shenanigans. I can’t tell what the hell is going to happen to this state, but if they double down on the crazy it might be time to start thinking about greener pastures.
Check out today’s Wrap for more.