For Immediate Release: May 3, 2023
Contact: Kelsey Pritchard, [email protected]
Includes Protections for Unborn Children at 12 Weeks, Guardrails for Dangerous Abortion Pills, $160M to Support Women & Families
RALEIGH, N.C. – This morning the North Carolina Senate Joint Committee on Rules and Operations advanced the Care for Women, Children and Families Act to protect unborn children from abortion at 12 weeks, place guardrails around dangerous abortion pills, and increase support for mothers and families. This follows the legislature advancing over $11 million in support for pregnancy centers in the budget.
A new poll shows over 60% of North Carolina voters – including 61% of women and 68% of Unaffiliated voters – support protecting unborn children by at least 12 weeks, with exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. Two thirds of voters reject abortion on demand until birth, the position held by Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein.
Medical experts testified in support of the bill, including Dr. Susan Bane, FACOG, a board-certified Greenville OB-GYN with more than 20 years in practice; Dr. Marty McCaffrey, a professor of pediatrics and a Charlotte Lozier Institute associate scholar; and Dr. Jeffrey Wright, FACOG (names and titles for identification only).
Provisions of the Care for Women, Children and Families Act include:
- No mail-order abortion pills – maintains current law requiring abortion pills to be administered in person by a doctor, strengthens informed consent on the danger of abortion pills, requires an in-person examination, prohibits advertising illegal sales of abortion pills.
- Protects abortion survivors – babies born alive in failed abortions are entitled to the same legal protections and standard of medical care as any other baby of the same gestational age.
- Combats discrimination – protects unborn children from discrimination based on sex, race or Down syndrome.
- Protects women’s health, safety and informed consent:
- Requires the same health and safety standards for abortion facilities as for other ambulatory surgical centers.
- Ensures that women are not rushed or coerced into unwanted abortions.
- Safeguards the life of the mother in the event of a medical emergency.
- Specifically makes clear that treatment for ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage does not constitute abortion.
- Limits elective and late-term abortions – exceptions include rape and incest up to five months and life-limiting fetal anomalies up to six months, with the requirement that palliative care consultation be offered.
The bill provides $160 million in support for children, families and maternal health, including:
- $75 million to expand access to child care.
- Nearly $59 million (not including federal matching funds) for foster care, kinship care and children’s homes.
- $20 million for maternity and paternity leave for teachers and state employees.
- Over $16 million (including federal matching funds) to reduce infant and maternal mortality.
- $3 million to help mothers and fathers complete community college.
Caitlin Connors, southern regional director for SBA Pro-Life America, praised North Carolina lawmakers for reaching consensus to strengthen protections for women and children:
“The Care for Women, Children and Families Act is deeply pro-life and pro-woman and a major step forward for North Carolina. This bill would protect thousands of lives a year from brutal abortions at a point when unborn babies have beating hearts, recognizable faces and unique fingerprints forming, and the capacity to suffer, as well as stopping dangerous mail-order abortion pills and more. It demonstrates the legislature’s serious commitment to giving women and families in North Carolina the support they need to thrive. We thank our allies, particularly our Pro-Life Caucus member Sen. Krawiec, Speaker Moore and Senate Leader Berger, Tami Fitzgerald and all the local advocates who’ve championed this bill and we hope to see it swiftly passed. Governor Cooper and Attorney General Stein oppose the will of the people at their political peril.”
Based on the most recent CDC data, protecting unborn children at 12 weeks would impact over 3,000 lives within the state each year, not including reducing abortion tourism from other states.
By 12 weeks’ gestation, all major organs have formed and the heart has beat over 10 million times. At this stage, babies suck their thumbs and already have a right-hand or left-hand preference. Prominent facial features including the nose, cheeks, eyes and ears are recognizable; teeth are developing; and the body responds to touch. For more information on fetal development, see Charlotte Lozier Institute’s “12 Facts at 12 Weeks.”
Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America is a network of more than one million pro-life Americans nationwide, dedicated to ending abortion by electing national leaders and advocating for laws that save lives, with a special calling to promote pro-life women leaders.