Friday, July 25, 2014

NC Legislators Give A Motorcycle More Rights than A Woman: A Year Ago in Herstory

One year ago in "herstory," on July 29, the State of North Carolina legislators placed limits on health care access for women, passing SB 353. The “Motorcycle Operation” bill was widely considered by equality advocates as an attempt to erode women’s rights to bodily autonomy.
See below for details about the Women's Rights Rally.

Equitable access to health care is only one of several women's rights issues on the agenda for the Women's Rights Rally at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 26, at Vance Memorial, downtown Asheville. 

Review of the motorcycle bill’s content may be considered moot, as codes of professionalism for medical professionals already include safeguards like those specified to ensure that physicians follow best practices. Thus, despite the lack of evidence for need, the state’s governing body chose to create superfluous legislation possibly to lay the foundation to legally limit reproductive decision-making by North Carolina women.

The bill specified:
·         · Medical providers have the right to refuse to perform abortions – despite the case this is already the case
·         ·Sex-selective abortions are banned – despite no evidence of any such selection
·         ·Providers must be present for the entire surgical abortion procedure or administration of the first pill to induce chemical abortion – despite no evidence of adverse health or safety risks
·         ·The Department of Health and Human Services would be required to write and enforce new rules for health clinics – despite health clinics exceeding existing guidelines

Finally, and perhaps most tellingly, the bill stipulates that motor vehicle operators are responsible when colliding with motorcycles they do not see. 

 In North Carolina, it follows that a motorcycle has more rights than a woman if acted upon by an outside force without consent. Women’s rights advocates continue to see spurious bills like this one as a thinly veiled attempt to build a foundation in law for the repeal of women’s reproductive rights.

If you are concerned about inequitable treatment of women under state, federal, or constitutional law, please consider joining Asheville NOW for the Women’s Rights “Bitter Pill” Rally on July 26 at 7 p.m. at Vance Memorial, downtown Asheville. 

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