By CRAIG MILLAR
RALEIGH—Just in time to counter a flurry of Republican legislation in the 2017 session of the General Assembly, House Democrats have proposed new legislation that would increase both the quantity and speed with which pregnancies can be terminated.
HB 14, officially titled The Same-Day Fetus Drop-Off and Seatbelt Enforcement Act, is a quasi-omnibus bill that tackles both abortion convenience and backseat passenger safety on state-run highways. It would provide money from the general fund to place drive-through abortion clinics, or DTACs, in densely populated cities and at specified rest stops on I-40 and I-95.
“If this passes, millions of women will finally realize the dream of having an abortion that is safe, legal, and takes fifteen minutes or less,” said Suzanne Buckley, the Executive Director at NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina.
The bill’s primary sponsor, Representative Cynthia Ball (D-Carolina Country Club) said that a major hurdle to a woman’s right to choose was time. “Precious minutes are something women, especially poor and minority women, don’t have. Social justice demands that we pave the way for them to get that baby outta there and them on with their day.
“Whether the woman is on her way to a minimum-wage job, back from a shift at Pure Gold, or traveling to Zoe’s in an Escalade and finally decides she can’t take one more crumbsnatcher in those captain’s seats, no woman should have to inconvenience herself for a simple procedure to end the unborn life inside her.”
Gadfly preacher The Right Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, DDiv, agreed. “Our state must abate the hate! It is too great to make a woman wait!” he chanted outside the Legislature between mouthfuls of Beasley’s chicken ‘n’ more chicken.
Not everyone was excited about the idea, though. “Putting a drive-through abortion clinic anywhere in North Carolina is the height of stupidity,” said Rep. Larry Pittman (R-Cabarrus). “The risk of danger is just too great. You’re expecting a woman to make a decision about the unborn life inside her while in a car? That’s just more liberal happy-clappy gum flappin’. Everybody knows women can’t drive.”