The North Carolina state senate voted 38-10 Monday on a bill that will list abortion as one of the causes of preterm labor, despite a lack of medical research supporting the claim.
SB 132 was amended in a senate committee late last week. The previous version of the bill stated that abortion causes preterm birth, while the new one lists abortion as a possible cause of preterm birth along with other factors such as smoking, drug use, and lack of prenatal care. Opponents of the bill worry that the revised bill could make the medically inaccurate statement about abortion come across as even more plausible with the addition of scientifically proven issues that can affect the length of a pregnancy. As Paige Johnson, vice president of external affairs for Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina, told RH Reality Check last week, “Abortion does not cause preterm birth, and in fact, not a single national medical organization recognizes a causal link between abortion and preterm birth.”
NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina Executive Director Suzanne Buckley agreed. “The amended language of the bill implies that abortion is a scientifically proven to cause pre-term delivery. Top medical authorities (the CDC, the WHO, and the AMA) agree that there is no established link between abortion and pre-term delivery; this bill is more than misleading, it’s political propaganda,” she said in a statement in response to the senate passage of the bill.
SB 132 is one of a series of anti-choice bills meant to curb health-care access for youth. HB 693, a bill that would require parental consent for minors seeking pregnancy diagnosis and prevention and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, mental health issues, and chemical and alcohol dependency, has been fast-tracking through the legislature as politicians attempt to force it though before this week’s legislative deadline. A recent poll found that 83 percent of North Carolina parents consider a teen’s ability to consent to health care in these cases to be “important.”