The North Carolina state Senate passed new restrictions on abortion — blocking many insurance plans from covering it and making abortion clinics qualify as ambulatory surgical centers — on Wednesday as protesters shouted "Shame! Shame! Shame!" in the gallery. In an interesting twist, the bill was originally crafted to ban the state from following Sharia — Islamic law some American politicians interpret as putting onerous restrictions on women's freedom. The legislation was reengineered on Tuesday to include abortion, and now the bill goes back to the state House to vote on the changes. Republican Gov. Pat McCrory said during the 2012 campaign that he wouldn't sign any more abortion restrictions.
Lt. Gov. Dan Forest ordered police to clear the Senate gallery of the "Shame!"-shouting protesters, WRAL reports. The bill would:
- Allow health care provers to refuse to provide abortions.
- Ban plans on the Obamacare exchanges from offering abortion coverage.
- Ban city and county health plans from covering abortion unless the pregnant woman's life were in danger, or she was the victim of rape or incest.
- Ban state money from paying for abortions unless the pregnant woman's life were in danger, or she was the victim of rape or incest.
- Require abortion clinics to qualify as ambulatory surgical centers.
- Require abortion providers to witness the entire procedure.
- Require abortion clinics to have transfer agreements with hospitals.