October 1, 2015
2015 NC Pro-Life Legislation Report
Changes Effective On October 1, 2015
- SL 2015-62 became law on June 5, 2015. But the provision that requires women to talk with a doctor or other qualified professional 72 hours before having an abortion, unless there’s a medical emergency, goes into effect today. Yesterday it was a 24 hour waiting period.
- The Woman’s Right to Know Website has been revised, updated and is now live. Click on this link to see the new language. DHHS is printing new booklets.
- October 1 is the effective date of abortion clinic rules required by SL 2013-333. This law required the Department of Health and Human Services to amend its rules pertaining to abortion clinics. The Department was authorized to apply any requirement for ambulatory surgery centers to the standards applicable to clinics. The rules are required to address the following: on-site recovery phase of patient care at the clinic, protection of patient privacy, quality assurance, and receipt of necessary medical attention for patients with complications. Amended rules adopted pursuant to this 2013 law are online here.
Disposition of Unborn Childrens’ Remains
- Effective October 1, 2015, House Bill 297 prohibits the marketing and sale of the remains of an unborn child resulting from an induced abortion. It will be a Class I felony. In the case of a miscarriage, the mother can donate the remains for research.
- It also prohibits the Department of Health and Human Services from allocating funds to abortion providers for family planning services, pregnancy prevention activities, or adolescent parenting programs. This makes permanent a temporary provision that was part of the budget (Section 12E.13 of SL2015-241).
- Section 3 of Senate Bill 279 expands the list of disciplines that will inform the public school sex education curriculum. Currently, it is just “sexperts.” But for the 2016-17 school year the curriculum will be reviewed and provided by professionals and credentialed experts in the fields of any of the following: sexual health education, adolescent psychology, behavioral counseling, medicine, human anatomy, biology, ethics, or health education. This change is important to the pro-life community because the sex education curriculum now includes instruction on the causes/risks of extremely low birth weight or pre-term birth, which include a prior induced abortion.
Local Health Departments
- Section 51 of the 2015-17 Budget provides funds for a competitive block grant process for county health departments to increase access to prenatal care and improve birth outcomes. This action increases funding for Maternal and Infant Health to $52.8 million.
- The budget has allocated a total of $1.3 Million to maternity homes for 2015-2016 and 2016-2017. Prior budgets have allocated a recurring fund of $375,000 each year with non-recurring grants of $900,000. This year the Legislature made that a recurring fund of $925,000.
High Risk Maternity Clinics
- The East Carolina University High Risk Maternity Clinic is again funded at $375,000 for 2015-2016 and 2016-2017. Eastern North Carolina has extremely highest rates of abortion and consequently prematernity.
Perinatal Quality Collaborative of North Carolina (PQCNC)
- Section 53 of the 2015-2017 Budget provides funds to sustain PQCNC while it transitions during 2015-17 biennium to become fully receipt-supported effective July 1, 2017. This action maintains funding at $808,172 in FY 2015-16 and $835,000 in FY 2016-17.
- Once again, section 12I.1.(a) of the 2015-17 budget grants $300,000/year for Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship. We are optimistic that within months “Choose life” license plates will be “unenjoined” so that pro-life supporters can provide additional support for this effort with their own money. The Department of Justice will submit a brief this month to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of this position. A July decision of the U.S. Supreme Court almost guarantees success on this.