Apparently having seen what happened when the Big Daddy theocrats tried to ram through a vagina control bill in Texas, our homegrown crackpot conservatives in Raleigh figured they would sneak through a similar anti-choice bill in North Carolina on the eve of a long holiday weekend.
The Senate met for much of the day, handling a variety of bills in other committees and on the floor. Just before 5:20 p.m., Senate Rules Committee Chairman Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, announced a recess and said the Judiciary 1 Committee would meet at 5:30 p.m.Chairman of the Senate Judiciary 1 Committee, Buck Newton (R-BigFatLiar) claimed this was pushed through so suddenly because they reached a surprising consensus just at that hot minute. Which totally explains why:
Until then, the committee's calendar listed only House Bill 695, which prohibits the recognition of foreign law, such as Islamic Sharia law, in family courts. That measure was controversial when it cleared the House in May, with opponents fearing it could interfere with recognition of U.S. law in foreign courts.
However, when the committee convened at 5:30 p.m., it quickly took up an amendment to revise the bill to include the regulations on abortion.
Lobbyists with nonprofits that have religious or moral purposes, including the Family Policy Council, Christian Action League and North Carolina Values Coalition, were in the room for the committee debate and the subsequent Senate floor debate. Senators noted that those lobbyists were given notice of the bill and its contents ahead of time.Yet shockingly no one thought to alert the opponents of the odious amendments which will effectively shut down all the low cost women's health clinics that provide many more services than just abortions.
Their devious ploy didn't work as intended. Thanks to the NC media, a sizable group of women's rights supporters were alerted in time to attend today's hearing on the bill. And in a stunning display of the Republican's version of democratic governance, they were told to STFU.
"The gallery is to remain silent. The senators on the floor are the only voices that matter."These guys need to be reminded who they work for and 2014 isn't that far off. One hopes the voters will reward them appropriately at the ballot box by voting these arrogant SOBs out.
-- North Carolina Senate Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R), quoted on Facebook, to women in the Senate gallery protesting surprise abortion legislation passed last night.