RALEIGH — The North Carolina Senate today passed Senate Bill 405, a bill that targets health care providers who provide safe and legal abortion to their patients with the threat of a criminal penalty. The bill is a revived version of a nearly identical piece of legislation that Governor Cooper vetoed in 2019.
Federal and state laws already address doctors who do not meet the standards of abortion care, and physicians in North Carolina follow rigorous licensing requirements, standards of care, and ethical codes when providing care to pregnant patients.
“This revived version of the 2019 bill is yet another attack on North Carolinians’ access to abortion and an attack on medical providers, particularly doctors who provide care to patients experiencing complex pregnancies,” said Susanna Birdsong, North Carolina Director of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic. “This bill is a complete waste of time and taxpayer resources and another distraction from the fact that state lawmakers have not prioritized legislation that would expand access to health care for low-income North Carolinians, improve maternal mortality in the state, or provide workplace accommodations for people who are pregnant.”
Lawmakers in the House last week passed House Bill 453, another anti-abortion 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 force doctors to scrutinize a patient’s reason for seeking an abortion and 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.