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Saturday, May 7, 2011

NC House Committees Hear Testimony on the Abortion Woman's Right to Know.

The NC House Judiciary B Committee heard testimony Thursday, May 4, on the Abortion-Woman's Right to Know (A-WRTK), H854.  Reps. Ruth Samuelson and Pat McElraft, the bill's primary sponsors, spoke first.  Because of the need to be in another committee meeting, Rep. McElraft spoke briefly at the beginning.  Then, Rep. Samuelson thoroughly explained the bill prior the testimony of those who support and oppose the legislation. The committee Chair, Rep. Stevens, alternated the testimony between those who oppose the bill with those who support the bill.

Those speaking against the bill were Janet Colm, the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina; Sarah Preston, lobbyist for the ACLU; David Grimes, a Clinical Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine; and Erica Pedigrew, a fifth year medical student at UNC-CH.

Speaking in support of the bill were: Barbara Holt, President of North Carolina Right to Life; Monsignor David Brockman, Vicar General of the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh; Sara Riggins, representing NC Family Policy Council; Rev. Mark Creech, Executive Director of the Christian Action League; Danelle Hallenbeck, post abortive mother and former Leader of Operation Outcry in NC; and Betty Rogosich, CEO of Birth Choice serving Eastern NC.

To watch the WRAL video of the proceedings, click here.  Before the discussion of the A-WRTK, there were about 40 minutes of discussion on two different bill.  Move the bar to advance to the A-WRTK discussion unless you wish to hear everything discussed in the meeting.

The House Judiciary Sub Committee B met for a second time on May 11, with the entire two hour meeting devoted to the Abortion-Woman's Right to Know bill.  The first hour was devoted to hearing testimony from both sides with each side having 25 minutes.  The last hour of the meeting was devoted to discussion of the bill by the committee with a vote on the bill as the final action.  For the most part, those members of the committee who opposed or supported the bill made statements about the bill.  The bill passed the committee along party lines with Rep. Grier Martin not casting a vote because he was called away to another committee at which one of his bills was being considered.

You can watch the video of the meeting here.

The bill was assigned to Appropriations Sub Committee on Health and Human Services which heard the bill on May 19.  There were no amendments offered and the bill passed the committee after legislators spoke both in favor and opposition to the bill.

To read Barbara Holt's prepared remarks from May 4, which had to be limited due to time constraints because of the large number of individuals giving testimony, click here.

To read other posts about the Abortion-Woman's Right to Know, H854, click here.


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