The campaign promise Republican Gov. Pat McCrory made to the voters of North Carolina—that he would not sign into law any bills regarding abortion—has already fallen to the wayside. The governor said late last week that he will sign SB 132, a new bill that will require health educators to teach seventh-grade students, incorrectly, that abortion is a cause of preterm birth.
Asked about the bill, which has been approved by both chambers of the legislature and requires one final (and inevitable) concurrence from the senate before heading to his desk for approval, Gov. McCrory said he intends to sign.
There is no major medical group in the country that claims abortion causes preterm birth in subsequent pregnancies.
Gov. McCrory argues that supporting the bill does not violate his pledge to not sign any anti-choice legislation into law, because SB 132 is, he says, an education bill, not an abortion restriction.
“The Governor made a promise in October not to support any restrictions on abortion in our state. By signing this bill, Governor McCrory will be going back on his campaign promise and sending a message that he can’t be trusted to stick to his word,” Suzanne Buckley, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, said in a statement. “NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina and thousands of North Carolinians across the state are watching, and we will hold him accountable. The fact that this bill never made it to the Education Committee underscores the fact that this bill has nothing to do with education, and everything to do with an anti-choice political agenda. Any claim to the contrary is disingenuous.”
The final bill is expected to reach the governor’s desk this week.