When it comes to regulating abortions, North Carolina became either one of the worst or one of the best states last year.
Dueling scorecards have come out this week. The national pro-abortion rights group NARAL has released its annual grading of the states and given North Carolina an “F.” Americans United for Life has released its own report, which ranks North Carolina in 21st place, but cites it as one of the four most-improved states (along with Texas, Illinois and Kansas).
“In 2013, extreme lawmakers railroaded through a series of new laws that are part of a nationwide, well-funded anti-woman agenda sweeping the nation,” Suzanne Buckley, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, said in a statement she released. “These laws are ill-conceived and out of touch with the majority of North Carolinians who believe lawmakers have no place in a woman’s personal, private reproductive decisions.”
Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the N.C. Values Coalition, said North Carolina has joined the ranks of states concerned more about protecting women than the abortion industry. She said the fact that three abortion clinics closed last year (one permanently), prove reforms were needed.
“We applaud our General Assembly and Gov. McCrory for outlawing abortions based on the sex of the unborn child, making sure that taxpayer dollars aren’t used to pay for abortions, updating abortion clinic rules so they are required to abide by modern medical practice, and requiring doctors performing abortions to be present for the entire procedure and care for their patients afterwards,” Fitzgerald said.
Americans United for Life named Louisiana as the best state in the union for protecting life, for the fifth year in a row. Washington ranked at the bottom of the list for the fifth time.
Twenty-two states enacted abortion restriction measures in 2013, according to a recent report by the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit reproductive health research group. The report found a sharp increase in anti-abortion measures over the past two years.
North Carolina lawmakers passed legislation, which Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law, requiring new requirements on abortion clinics, banning abortion coverage through the Affordable Care Act state health exchange, and prohibiting abortion coverage for city and county employees.