This week in the General Assembly, the House passed a bill prohibiting selective sex abortions, a House committee considered legislation requiring parental consent for teen abortions and birth control, and a bill requiring schools to keep emergency allergy medication on hand passed the House unanimously.
Meanwhile, a discharge petition was circulated in the Senate this week to pull a minimum wage increase bill from committee, where it has been buried for 2 months.
House Bill 716: ‘Clarify Law/Prohibit Selective Sex Abortion’
“An act to prohibit a person from performing or attempting to perform an abortion when the sex of the unborn child is a significant factor in seeking the abortion.”
• Passed House 79-40 Tuesday
The bill establishes fines for physicians performing abortions where “a significant factor in the pregnant woman seeking the abortion is related to the sex of the unborn child.”
Civil claims against violators can be filed by “the woman upon whom an abortion was performed” or her “spouse, guardian or current or former licensed health care provider.”
Fines are structured for repeat offenses, with $10,000 for the first offense, $50,000 for the second and $100,000 for the third.
The bill reads: “In every proceeding or action brought under this article, the court shall rule whether the anonymity of any woman upon whom an abortion has been performed or attempted shall be preserved from public disclosure if the woman does not give her consent to the disclosure.”
This act is effective October 1.
House Bill 693: ‘Eliminate Exceptions/Med Treatment/Minors’
“An act to eliminate certain exceptions for parental consent for medical treatment of unemanciapted minors under the laws pertaining to the practice of medicine.”
• Filed April 9, sponsored by Jonathan Jordan
• Referred to House Judiciary Committee May 8
If the current version of the bill becomes law, N.C. teenagers will need the notarized written consent of a parent or guardian to receive birth control.
Notarized consent will also be required for “health care services for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, including (HIV/AIDS), abuse of controlled substances or alcohol, (and) mental illness.”
According to the bill, “No physician licensed to practice medicine in (N.C.) shall perform an abortion upon an unemancipated minor” without notarized, written consent.
Procedures for waiver of parental consent are provided for unemancipated minors, who may petition the court “on his or her own behalf or through a guardian ad litem.” The court shall waive consent if it finds “the minor is mature and well-informed enough” to make decisions on their own.
Exceptions are allowed for abortions if the physician determines a medical emergency exists.
House Bill 824: ‘Epi Pen in Schools’
• Passed House unanimously April 25
• Currently in Senate Committee on Education/Higher Education
“An act to require public schools to have emergency epinephrine auto-injectors on school property for use in an emergency.”
This legislation would require local boards of education to “provide for a supply of emergency epinephrine auto-injectors on school property…for use by trained school personnel to provide emergency medical aid to persons suffering from an anaphylactic reaction.”
Principals would designate staff to receive training from school nurses in the use of “epi pen” injectors, and school nurses or other designated personnel would obtain prescriptions from local health departments.
A school’s supply of epi pens “shall not be used as the sole medication supply for students known to have a medical condition requiring the availability” of epi pens, and liability for misuse is limited.
Senate Bill 220: ‘State Minimum Wage/Inflation Increases’
“An act providing for automatic adjustment of the state’s minimum wage based upon increases in the consumer pricing index.”
• Filed March 6, referred to Senate Rules and Operations Committee March 7
• A discharge petition is circulating to pull the bill from the Rules and Operations Committee and place it the Senate calendar.
The bill provides for cost of living increases to the N.C. minimum wage. It reads: “increase in the cost of living shall be measured by the percentage increase of the consumer pricing index…as calculated by the U.S. Department of Labor for the 12 months preceding the previous Sept. 1.”
To prevent curtailing employment opportunities, lower wage rates are established for students, apprentices, recipients of Work First and supplemental security benefits and “persons whose earning or productive capacity is impaired by age or physical or mental deficiency or injury.”