Abortion-Rights Advocates To Protest N.C. Bill Requiring Hospital Admitting Privileges

March 19, 2013 — Planned Parenthood and abortion-rights groups in North Carolina say they will hold a rally outside the state Legislature on Wednesday to protest a bill (SB 308) that would increase regulations for abortion clinics, WRAL reports (Leslie, WRAL, 3/15).

The bill would require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital and would require doctors to stay on site after the procedure until the woman is ready to go home (Camp, ABC 11, 3/15).

State Sen. Warren Daniel (R) -- one of the bill's sponsors -- said, "We just [want] to make sure that, if we're having abortion procedures in North Carolina, they're as safe as any other type of surgery. I think it's reasonable" (WRAL, 3/15).

Another bill sponsor, state Sen. Neal Hunt (R), said, "The woman needs to be protected. Her health is paramount if you're going to do this procedure, which I don't advocate, [but] if you're going to do it, you've got to make sure it's safe."

However, Melissa Reed of Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina said, "This bill is about pure politics and has nothing to do with patient safety" (WSOCTV, 3/15). Reed said she is concerned that hospitals worried about protesters might refuse to give abortion providers admitting privileges, which would effectively end abortions in the state. Reed added, "This is an attempt to do just that" (ABC 11, 3/15).

According to WSOCTV, there is a good chance the bill would pass the Senate and House with a few changes (WSOCTV, 3/15). However, it is unclear if Gov. Pat McCrory (R) -- who has said he will not support any more abortion-restriction bills -- would veto it (WRAL, 3/15).