North Carolina ‘Gender-Selection Abortion’ Ban Passes House Committee, Pushed by GOP Leader

A bill that would make doctors pay significant financial penalties if they are found performing an abortion due to the fetus’s gender has made it through a North Carolina house committee with the support of its sponsor, a high-ranking anti-choice Republican. But as the bill winds its way through the legislature and inevitably stops at the desk of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, he will once more be faced with whether to uphold his campaign promise and refuse to sign laws restriction abortion access.

HB 716 would ban doctors from “knowingly or recklessly perform[ing] or attempt[ing] to perform an abortion upon a woman in this State with knowledge, or an objective reason to know, that a significant factor in the pregnant woman seeking the abortion is related to the sex of the unborn child.” The bill would open up opportunities for a number of potential interest groups to sue on behalf of a patient if they believe a termination was conducted because of the fetus’s gender, and would make practitioners vulnerable to fines and damages of up to $100,000.

Reproductive rights advocates see the bill as a restriction in search of a problem, noting that the ban would be mostly unenforceable and that there is no evidence of gender-based abortions existing in the state. “This law is unworkable and not enforceable. The broad language of this bill would insert politicians directly into the doctor-patient relationship and force medical providers to interrogate their patients or risk severe penalties,” Suzanne Buckley, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, said in a statement. “The goal of this legislation is not to curb gender discrimination but to strip women of reproductive choices by making increasingly difficult for doctors to provide abortion care.”

Having no clear way to enforce the law doesn’t concern bill sponsor Rep. Ruth Samuelson (R-Charlotte), who claims that there are “indications” that sex selection is a “significant problem.”

“We say there’s sex discrimination in education and in the workforce,” Samuelson told the Charlotte Observer when introducing the bill. “How can we say there’s not sex discrimination in abortions?”

Samuelson, a GOP leader who is hoping to be appointed Speaker of the House, is no stranger to pushing anti-choice legislation. During the 2011 session, she was instrumental in pushing the 24-hour waiting period and forced ultrasound bill vetoed by then Gov. Bev Perdue. That veto was eventually overridden by the state house and senate and became law, although the ultrasound portion was blocked by the courts.

A veto may well be the result of this year’s legislation as well, if Gov. McCrory keeps his campaign pledge not to sign any abortion restrictions into law. If so, it would be up to the state legislature to decide if alleged “gender discrimination” in abortion procedures outweigh the real gender discrimination inherent in taking away a woman’s right to decide under what circumstances she is willing and capable of remaining pregnant and giving birth.

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  • Karen Wells

    Funny how republican lawmakers are suddenly sticking up for women’s rights now that abortion is involved, but still ignoring the thousands of women who are victims of domestic violence, rape, murder…

    • Tanya Nguyễn

      Read any of their “outage” at Gossnell, and how he’s “harmed women” and how there should be “protections from such violence”. These same idiots didn’t vote to pass the VAWA. idiots

      • ljean8080

        TANYA,what Gosnell did was wrong.

        • Carla Clark

          She wasn’t saying it wasn’t. She was pointing out the GOP’s hypocrisy. Kthxbai.

      • HeilMary1

        And those same sanctimonious faux feminists never rescue women like Beatriz in El Salvador or Savita in Ireland, or the 2 million women ruined by obstetric fistulas, or the millions of children molested by priests or the 100 million homeless children worldwide!

  • Tanya Nguyễn

    FACT: saying “we have sex discrimination in teh work place, so we MUST have it in abortions” is not evidence. It is not a study. and it is nothing but pulled out of your A**.

    just saying

  • Chaz Evans

    I can not wait to get the fuck out of this state.

  • wolfendenpackleader

    So now they want to add the cost to pregnant women for finding out the gender of her fetus, EVEN THOUGH THEY DID NOT SAY IT. You know that before an abortion, which is damned near impossible to obtain this legal medical procedure now, a woman will have to prior testing to reveal the fetus gender, then no matter what the gender is, the radical Tea Party Republicans will accuse the woman and the doctor of aborting the fetus because of its gender anyway.

    I thought this insanity slowed down, but it hasn’t. One week of news was nothing but the Boston bombing, so we did not hear about this sick, sexual obsessive takeover of all vaginas and uteruses in America, then the world. No female is safe in her own individuality and control of her life/body since the crazies were voted into a position of power, which they have totally abused and exploited. In 2014, toss them out the house door.

    • HeilMary1

      And many deadly diseases are directly gender-related for both mothers and fetuses: many hemophiliac-carrier parents may choose not to abort female fetuses because they are less affected by the disease than male fetuses. And women who are breast cancer-prone are better off having sons only. The Washington Post recently ran an obit for Rachel A. Cullen who clearly died of breast cancer caused by her two young daughters.

    • Terry Fillow

      I have to say, anyone wanting/needing an abortion, is not thinking of the sex of the baby. They are thinking… lets get this done.
      Someone wanting a baby, who has predisposed genetics are the ones that will be hurt by this law.
      We must rid ourselves of them in 2014

  • JenniWest

    The right to an abortion, regardless of reason, is the law of the land. STOP nitpicking these laws in an obvious attempt to weaken the rights of women until they no longer exist. Your attempts are obvious and crude. With all the things NC desperately needs to right itself, our legislature wastes its time slowly pecking away at the inalienable rights of half its population.