Special Report - April 21, 2011
Despite a slow start aimed at allowing members to assist their communities with recovery efforts after the weekend storms, the legislature was in high gear this week, as members tackled a number of bills, including a ban on considering international law in North Carolina courts, a number of newly-introduced bills in the Senate, and a new budget provision to prohibit Planned Parenthood from receiving state funding or contracts.
Banning International Law
On Wednesday, members of the House Judiciary Subcommittee C considered HB 640Foreign Laws/Protect Constitutional Rights, a bill that would “prohibit the application or enforcement of a foreign law in a legal proceeding if doing so would violate a right guaranteed by the North Carolina or United States Constitutions.”
HB 640 passed through the Judiciary Subcommittee C by a vote of 7-4. The measure now goes to the floor of the House.
New Bills Filed in the Senate
As the deadline to file new legislation neared in the Senate this week, a slew of pro-life bills were introduced. SB 736No State Funds for Abortion would prohibit any state funds from being used “for the performance of an abortion or for entities that perform or provide abortions.” SB 764No Credit for Obscene Films, would modify state law regarding tax credits provided to production companies that film in North Carolina, and would add a provision to ensure that all films receiving the tax credit meet “general standards of decency.” SB 766Notarized Consent for Minor’s Abortion, would close a loophole in current state law by requiring that parental consent for a minor to obtain an abortion be notarized to ensure its authenticity and prevent fraud. Serving as a companion to the legislation already introduced in the House of Representatives, SB 769Woman’s Right to Know Act would ensure that women considering an abortion are provided with complete and accurate information about the procedure and their unborn child. Finally, SB 775Regulate Abortion Facilities would “establish licensure requirements and a licensing fee for abortion facilities” and would also establish penalties for those facilities that fail to meet the requirements.
The State Budget
As lawmakers continue to work toward a state budget, the House majority is also considering a budget proposal that would eliminate state money from going to Planned Parenthood. One sentence in the most recent draft of the House Republicans’ budget would specifically bar Planned Parenthood from receiving any state grant money or state contracts.
The nine Planned Parenthood clinics in North Carolina receive $473,000 from the state each year, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. Representative Nelson Dollar (RWake), who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, emphasized to the News & Observer that the budget proposal includes $3.6 million for teen pregnancy prevention programs. According to the Associated Press, Rep. Dollar said the budget will shift funding to groups “who have their entire focus on serving clients and serving the citizens, and not getting into all the political issues.”
Parental Rights Amendment Gains - May 11, 2010
Bill Emphasizes Woman's Right to Know - April 8, 2011
Informed Consent - FNC - Spring 2011
SC Governor Signs Pro-Life Bill - August 20, 2010
Court Upholds Informed Consent Statute - September 2, 2009
South Dakota Strengthens Informed Consent - July 28, 2008
Bill Would Uphold Life in NC- July 5, 2007
Parental Consent for Abortion- August 2002
The Importance of Informed Consent in Abortion Cases- July 2005
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