In dangerous rush to subvert the democratic process, NC legislature recklessly abandons deliberation and keeps public in the dark on bill imposing new abortion restrictions

RALEIGH – The following is a statement from Ann Webb, Policy Director with Common Cause North Carolina, on the deeply flawed process by which Republican legislative leaders are rushing through passage of Senate Bill 20, placing new restrictions on abortion access in North Carolina. The bill was unveiled late Tuesday night, passed through a committee this morning and is headed to floor votes later today.

“In its rush to subvert the democratic process, legislative leadership has abandoned all public deliberation and kept the public in the dark on its bill imposing new abortion restrictions. This is a dangerous way to legislate.

Republican lawmakers announced their intent to impose these restrictions at a press conference at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday evening after they reached a secret deal behind closed doors.

In all, the legislators pushing these restrictions gave the public, reporters and even their fellow legislators fewer than 11 hours – most of it in the middle of the night – to read and understand this complex 46-page bill. The bill cannot be amended.

This legislation is among the most controversial, complicated and consequential that lawmakers will take up this session. These new restrictions would have a profound impact on the health of people across North Carolina.

Today, legislators have radically departed from the normal legislative process in their irresponsible haste to pass this bill. In doing so, they have deprived the people of North Carolina of an opportunity to understand and to meaningfully express their views on these proposed restrictions.

The people of North Carolina deserve better.”

Common Cause North Carolina is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.