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North Carolina expands conscience protection, bans sex-selective abortions

Catholic World News - August 01, 2013

North Carolina’s bishops have welcomed the passage and signing into law of a bill that recognizes the right of nurses and other healthcare workers not to participate in an abortion. Previous state law on conscience protection had protected only physicians.

The new law also bans insurance coverage for most abortions in health-insurance exchanges, places limits on abortion coverage in insurance policies offered to city and county employees, and states that “no person shall perform or attempt to perform an abortion upon a woman in this State with knowledge, or an objective reason to know, that a significant factor in the woman seeking the abortion is related to the sex of the unborn child.”

The law also requires physicians performing an abortion to be physically present during the abortion and authorizes the state’s Department of Health and Human Services to “apply any requirement for the licensure of ambulatory surgical centers” to abortion facilities.

“This law takes important steps to protect the lives of innocent unborn children, the health of pregnant women who have made the unfortunate decision to terminate a pregnancy, the conscience rights of health care workers who now cannot be forced to participate in an abortion and taxpayers who will not have to pay for these services in the health care plans of public employees,” Bishops Michael Burbidge of Raleigh and Peter Jugis of Charlotte said in a statement.

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