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RALEIGH — Today the North Carolina General Assembly House Committee on Health advanced House Bill 453, a bill that would prevent a person from obtaining an abortion based on the presumed race of the fetus or a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome. 

H.B. 453 would also require doctors to provide a statement confirming that the patient did not tell the physician that they were seeking an abortion based on the sex, race, or diagnosis of the fetus. The doctor would be required to provide this information along with the image of the patient’s ultrasound to the Department of Health and Human Services.

“I show up to work every day to serve as a medical provider for my patients — not as a mouthpiece of the state,” said Dr. Katherine Farris, Chief Medical Officer of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic. “I trust my patients to know what they need and to know what is best for their families and their futures. But by forcing doctors to scrutinize and second-guess people’s reasons for seeking an abortion, this bill discourages open, honest conversations and undermines the provider-patient relationship, driving a wedge between people and their trusted health care professionals.”

“This bill does nothing to address discrimination or improve the lives of people with disabilities in North Carolina,” said Susanna Birdsong, North Carolina Director of Public Affairs of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic. “In fact, H.B. 453 only does one thing: It stands in the way of a person seeking an abortion. Lawmakers concerned about sexism, racism, people with disabilities, or other forms of discrimination should ensure there is access to comprehensive health care and pass laws that actually support people who decide to parent, including those who parent children with health conditions or disabilities. And they should stop trying to pass laws that make it harder for Black people to vote, target people who are immigrants, or otherwise protect institutionalized racism.” 

H.B. 453 now heads to the House Judiciary 1 Committee and is scheduled to be heard tomorrow, May 5, at noon.