Under the Dome

Abortion-rights advocates rally at NC Governor’s Mansion

Planned Parenthood and NARAL chapters in North Carolina rallied outside the Governor’s Mansion in Raleigh on Monday to pressure him not to sign a pending abortion bill if it passes the legislature.

About 50 people attended and spoke on their concerns, with the backdrop of a 20-foot billboard truck reminding Gov. Pat McCrory of a campaign promise not to sign into law any further restrictions on abortions.

Abortion-rights groups are watching House Bill 465, which would triple the waiting time before an abortion can be performed to 72 hours. It would also require doctors to send to state officials ultrasound images of their patients’ uterus if an abortion is planned after 18 weeks.

“When Gov. McCrory promised to veto any new abortion restrictions, North Carolina women believed him,” Planned Parenthood South Atlantic spokeswoman Alison Kiser said. “They won’t forget it.”

The bill, whose key sponsor is Rep. Jacqueline Schaffer, a Republican from Charlotte, has passed the House and is awaiting consideration in the Senate. Hear her explanation for why the bill is needed in the video, shot by Benjamin Brown of The Insider.

State Sen. Terry Van Duyn, a Democrat from Asheville, was among the speakers at the rally, which was part of a statewide tour to oppose the bill.

The state Republican Party issued a statement criticizing the rally as a publicity stunt for the news media by a liberal advocacy group, Progress NC Action. The group helped organize the event.