Life and Family Legislation: Liberal Agenda Advances, Conservative Values Ignored
The 2009 legislative session proved, yet again, that North Carolina General Assembly lawmakers refuse to hear any conservative legislation that would protect pregnant women, defend marriage and strengthen the family. Instead, legislators chose to advance an extremely liberal agenda with passage of the Healthy Youth Act and the “Bullying Bill.”
Anti-life, Anti-family Legislation that Passed
SB 526 – The School Violence Prevention Act
Most commonly known as the “Bullying Bill,” this measure introduces for the first time “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” into the North Carolina General Statutes. Sponsored by Sen. Julia Boseman (D- New Hanover), the law provides a major advancement for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender community in establishing “sexual orientation” as a protected nondiscrimination class. While the bill seeks to protect children from bullying, the underlying agenda is clear. A similar bill, HB 776, No Bullying Anymore at Public Schools, would have protected all children from bullying for any reason, without listing specific groups in order to advance a left-wing agenda. HB 776 was a much more sensible alternative, but was refused a hearing in the House Education Committee.
HB 88 – The Healthy Youth Act
The Healthy Youth Act, sponsored by Rep. Bob England (D- Cleveland), Rep. Susan Fisher (D – Buncombe), Rep. Alma Adams (D – Guilford), and Rep. W.A. Wilkins (D – Durham), will force 104 of the state’s 115 school districts to teach a more contraception-focused Comprehensive Sex Education program (CSE) to students starting in 2010. CSE will amend the previously taught Abstinence Until Marriage (AUM) curriculum and instead offer a multi-track program where parents of children between seventh and ninth grade may choose to remove their children from CSE. The CSE program will introduce the 18 FDA-approved methods of contraception ranging from condoms to the abortifacient morning after pill.
Legislation that Should Have Been Considered
HB 431 or SB 236– Abortion- Parental Consent Notarized
This bill would require parental or guardian notification and notarization for any minor seeking an abortion. The House bill, introduced by Rep. Mark Hilton (R- Catawba) and Rep. Pat McElraft (R – Carteret), and a similar bill in the Senate, would serve to protect minors and strengthen parental rights.
HB 891– Ultrasound before an Abortion
HB 891, sponsored by Representatives McElraft, Hilton, and Pearl Burris-Floyd (R – Cleveland), would require an ultrasound to be performed before an abortion procedure, except in the case of medical emergency. This bill would ensure that medically accurate information be provided to women when considering an abortion.
HB 1044– Woman’s Right to Know
Introduced by Rep. Ruth Samuelson (R- Mecklenburg), Rep. William Current (R – Gaston), Rep. Pat Hurley (R – Randolph) and Rep. Ric Killian (R – Mecklenburg), this act would require a twenty- four hour waiting period and the informed consent of the pregnant woman before an abortion would be performed. Informed consent is granted upon a clear understanding of the relevant facts, implications and future consequences of the elected abortion procedure. While North Carolina refuses to protect the right of informed consent, 24 states already require a mandatory waiting period before a woman may follow through with the abortion procedure.
HB 397 and HB 432– Conscience Protections/ Health Care Providers
Rep. Mark Hilton (R- Catawba) sponsored both House bills that strengthen conscience protections in employer provided insurance, pharmacists and health care providers when pertaining to coverage for prescription contraceptive drugs and outpatient contraceptive services. Outpatient contraceptive services include; consultations, examinations, procedures and medical services provided on an outpatient basis and related to the use of contraceptive methods to prevent pregnancy. The term does not include medical services, drugs, or devices used to induce an abortion.
HB 890– The Unborn Victims of Violence Act
The Unborn Victims of Violence Act would extend specific legal protection to the pregnant mother who chooses to carry her child to term. Should an assault of a pregnant woman result in “serious bodily harm,” the perpetrator is guilty of a felony. “Serious bodily harm” includes; bodily injury that causes serious permanent disfigurement, risks death, coma, impairment of the function of any organ or results in the birth of the unborn child prior to 37 weeks gestation. The Act, sponsored by Representatives Hilton, Burris-Floyd, McElraft and John Blust (R – Guilford), specifically treats the murder of an unborn child as a separate homicide and provides explicit codification of the rights of children who survive an abortion. “Unborn child” includes a homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.
HB 361 or SB 272– The Defense of Marriage
The Defense of Marriage Act would define marriage as the union between one man and one woman. Sponsored by Sen. James Forrester (R-Gaston), this bill would allow North Carolina voters the chance to add an amendment to the state constitution to defend marriage and strengthen the state against legal attacks from same-sex couples. The House version of the Act is sponsored by Rep. Burris-Floyd, Rep. David Lewis (R – Harnett), Rep. James Crawford (D – Granville) and Rep. Dewey Hill (D – Brunswick). For the fifth year in a row, the N.C. Legislature has refused to address the Defense of Marriage Act. North Carolina is the only state in the southern United States1 that does not have a state constitutional amendment defining marriage on the record.
1 Southern states include: Louisiana, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Florida.