Raleigh—State lawmakers in Raleigh passed a measure today requiring teachers in North Carolina to include information about the prevention of preterm births in health classes starting in 7th grade. The legislation mandates teachers tell students that abortion causes preterm births, a biased opinion that is not supported or recognized by a single national medical association including the American Medical Association, the American Pediatric Society or the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
“Lawmakers in Raleigh have made clear once again they care more about pushing an anti-women’s health agenda than providing real solutions to real problems,” says Melissa Reed, Vice President of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood Health Systems.
The bill’s primary sponsor, Senator Warren Daniel, has led repeated efforts in the Senate to deny women access to safe and legal abortion, including passage last session of a law requiring a forced ultrasound viewing and two state imposed delays on every woman seeking to end a pregnancy.
The measure passed today resulted from a hotly contested meeting
of the Perinatal Task Force last November during which some members voted under clear political pressure to recommend that North Carolina schools teach students about all risks of preterm births. Daniel, however, dropped mention of any other factor and changed “risk” to “cause” in the legislation he introduced. A handful of scientifically-based risk factors for premature births were added during debate on the Senate floor.
“Quite frankly, Sen. Daniel opposes a woman making deeply personal decisions about her pregnancy under any circumstances. This bill is just another way to start shaming women and young girls at an even earlier age by forcing teachers to push his political agenda against women’s health,” says Paige Johnson, Vice President of External Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina.
The legislation, SB 132, now goes before Governor McCrory who has publically stated he would not sign additional abortion restrictions.