Even before he assumed the role of House Speaker, Thom Tillis made clear that limiting a woman’s right to make her own personal medical decisions was a top priority. His priorities became more than clear this week when he played an integral role in maneuvering two bills, both originally unrelated to women's health, amended with some of the most dangerous and extreme abortion restrictions in the country and rushed through with every trick in the book.
Having failed topass their extreme anti-women’s health political agenda during the course of normal business, North Carolina’s legislature drastically amended a bill about Sharia law (seriously) to include every single abortion restriction introduced in the 2013 legislative session – and added new ones that hadn’t been considered. These include targeted restrictions of abortion providers that, if implemented, could dramatically restrict the number of health centers that provide abortion in North Carolina. But that was just the beginning.
Under Speaker Thom Tillis’s leadership, the NC House Judiciary B Committee hosted a surprise hearing on their omnibus abortion restriction—in an attempt to confuse the public—and gutted an unrelated bill, formerly dealing with motorcycle safety, and inserted provisions from the “Sharia law omnibus abortion bill” into it. After Tillis resorted to these trickster tactics, SB 353—which commonly became known as the motorcycle vagina bill—passed the House 74-41. The bill will move to the Senate for a concurrence vote, and if approved will go to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory’s desk for signature. Check out the chart below for the full run-down:
Tillis has a long history of trying to craft these extreme and dangerous bills designed to restrict women’s access to health care and virtually eliminate access to safe and legal abortion in the state. In 2011, he helped lead the charge on passing one of the most extreme mandatory ultrasound bills in the country. It’s no surprise he would try and do everything he could to pass another bad bill in the North Carolina House.
Why does Tillis, who holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Maryland, think it’s appropriate to dictate what goes on in exam room, infringing on the personal and private medical decisions best left up to a woman and her doctor? For his actions in the North Carolina legislature, he’s truly earned the title of Gynotician of the week.