Governor Signs Pro-Family Bills Into Law
Special Report - July 30, 2013
Governor Pat McCrory (R-NC) has signed into law three key pro-family bills that promote the sanctity of human life in North Carolina and expand parental choice in education. On Monday, July 29, the Governor signed 18 bills, including a landmark pro-life bill, a measure aimed at reducing child sex trafficking in the state, and legislation that will provide scholarships to help children with disabilities attend nonpublic schools.
First, in a landmark victory for the pro-life movement in North Carolina, the Governor signed Senate Bill 353-Health and Safety Law Changes, one of the most life-saving measures to pass the General Assembly in decades. This sweeping omnibus pro-life bill:
- Expands North Carolina's health care conscience protection law;
- Restricts taxpayer funding of abortions;
- Bans sex-selection abortions in the state;
- Requires a physician who is to perform an abortion to be physically present during a surgical abortion procedure or when the first drug or chemical is administered during a chemical abortion; and
- Directs the N.C. Department of Health & Human Services to increase health and safety regulations for abortion clinics.
In a statement, Governor McCrory responded to claims by pro-abortion groups that the law is aimed at restricting abortion access. “I am pleased that this new legislation is focused on the health and safety of women in North Carolina,” he said. “These higher standards will result in safer conditions for North Carolina women. This law does not further limit access and those who contend it does are more interested in politics than the health and safety of our citizens.”
The Governor also signed into law Senate Bill 683-Safe Harbor/Victims of Human Trafficking, an important bill aimed at protecting the victims of sex trafficking. The law makes a number of important changes to North Carolina’s prostitution laws, including increasing the penalties for traffickers and purchasers, and ensuring that minor victims of prostitution are treated as victims of sex trafficking, and not as criminals, and are therefore immune from prosecution, and eligible to receive state services and support. North Carolina now joins at least 11 other states that have enacted either partial or full “safe harbor” laws.
“It is important to protect victims and likely victims of human trafficking,” said Governor McCrory. “These children should have every opportunity to live in a safe environment and without the prospect of living in fear.”
Additionally, the Governor signed into law House Bill 269-Children w/Disabilities Scholarship Grants, a measure that replaces an existing education tax credit program for children with disabilities that was enacted by the General Assembly in 2011. H269 establishes “special education scholarship grants for children with disabilities... to attend any nonpublic school and to receive special education and related services in a nonpublic school setting.”
“This legislation ensures that our commitment to excellence and innovation in K-12 education is extended to all North Carolina students,” the Governor said. “Students with physical or learning disabilities deserve access to the best education possible and this legislation goes a long way toward providing that.”
This is the second school choice measure the Governor has signed into law. In addition to H269, which focuses on children with disabilities, the Governor also signed Senate Bill 402-Appropriations Act of 2013 on July 26. The law includes a school choice provision that provides scholarship grants to help lower income families send their children to private schools in North Carolina.
“We applaud Governor Pat McCrory for signing these bills that are designed to promote the interest and wellbeing of citizens and families across our state,” said John L. Rustin, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “We especially thank Governor McCrory for signing Senate Bill 353 into law," Rustin continued. "Despite the claims of pro-abortion groups and their allies, this bill will save the lives of unborn children in North Carolina, protect the health and safety of pregnant women, and guard the conscience rights of our state's citizens and taxpayers."
Landmark Pro-Life Bill Ratified - July 26, 2013
Safe Harbor/Human Trafficking Bill Ratified - July 26, 2013
North Carolina Poised to Expand School Choice - July 24, 2013
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