Among the abortion provisions:
CONSCIENCE PROTECTION: The bill would allow any health care provider, not just doctors and nurses, to opt out of providing abortion-related services.
ABORTION FUNDING LIMITS: The bill would prohibit health plans offered on the federal health care exchanges from offering abortion coverage. It would also prohibit state funds from being used for abortions, except to save the life of the mother in case of rape or incest. It would also prohibits city and county health plans from offering abortion coverage more extensive than the coverage offered to state employees. The state health plan does not cover abortions except in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother.
SEX SELECTIVE ABORTIONS: The measure prohibits doctors from performing an abortion if they know the woman seeking it is doing so because of the gender of the baby.
"This is something we see happening across the country," Schaffer said.
But Reed said that was not the case. Doctors cannot determine the sex of a baby until five months of pregnancy without expensive tests she said. While sex-selection abortions are practiced in other parts of the world, they are not common in the U.S., Reed said. The effect the bill, she insisted, would be to create an adversarial relationship between doctors, would could be sued under the measure, and patients. Reed said it could also prompt some doctors to engage in racial profiling against women who are from parts of the world where sex selection abortions are practiced.
DOCTORS: Doctors will be required to remain in the room for the entire abortion procedure, whether surgical or medical / chemical.
"The information that I’ve seen is that they (medical abortions) are even more dangerous than surgical procedures," said Sen. Warren Daniel, R-Burke, a primary sponsor of the Senate version of the bill.
Roughly half the abortions performed in the state are medical abortions.
"That’s not true, they’re extremely safe," Reed said.
The practical effect of this rule will be to limit the number of abortions any one doctor could provide.
A medical abortion is performed by a woman taking one pill, waiting two days, an then taking a second pill that contracts the uterus. It’s unclear for how much of that process the physician would have to be present.
TRANSFER AGREEMENTS: The measure would require abortion clinics to have “transfer agreements” with local hospitals. Reed said the practical effect of that measure would be to limit how many clinics could operate, since some hospitals would refuse to engage in such agreements. The measure is meant to be similar, but not exactly the same, as provisions in other states that require doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. Hospitals, Reed said, would have little incentive to sign such agreements.
LICENSING: The measure would require abortions clinics to go through a licensing process similar outpatient surgical clinics.
Daniel insisted this provision merely “ensured we don’t have two different state standards” for outpatient clinics.
"These are really safety procedures," Daniel said.
However, Reed said other procedures with higher risk than abortion, such as oral surgery or colonoscopies, don’t fall under such provisions.
"They’re really putting a barrier in the way to access," Reed said. It will make clinics more expensive to operate. Currently, according to legislative staff, there is only one abortion clinic in the state that meets the outpatient surgical standards. Reed said she didn’t know where that clinic was. She said Planned Parenthood’s four North Carolina clinics did not meet the standard."