N.C. Lawmakers Tack Abortion Restrictions Onto Foreign Law Bill

The North Carolina state Senate approved a bill late Tuesday restricting abortions that was tacked onto a measure dealing with foreign law, according to local media reports.

The omnibus legislation was listed on a senate committee’s calendar only as House Bill 695, which bars family courts from recognizing foreign law such as Islamic Sharia law, according to WRAL. That bill was then amended at 5:30 p.m. to incorporate abortion provisions, including licensing requirements that would compel abortion clinics to meet standards similar to those of ambulatory surgical centers. Legislative staff said that only one clinic in the state meets those standards, according to the Raleigh News & Observer.

Other provisions would require a doctor to be present for the entire abortion procedure, whether surgical or drug-induced (medical); put a ban on sex-selective abortions; and prohibit plans on the federal health care exchange from covering the costs of an abortion.

The Senate tentatively approved the bill 27-14. A final vote Wednesday would send the legislation to the House, where some of the proposals have already passed in separate bills.