Teaching abortion link to early birth gets NC vote - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Teaching abortion link to early birth gets NC vote

Posted: Updated:
RALEIGH, N.C. -

A bill requiring North Carolina educators to teach that abortions are linked to subsequent premature births won initial Senate approval Thursday.

The amended version of the bill now mentions other factors associated with premature births, at the suggestion of Democrats who questioned the scientific consensus around the abortion link. The bill generated heated debate between health experts and lawmakers at an earlier committee meeting. It won committee approval in a close voice vote that Democrats tried to contest.

The bill requires those in grades seven and higher to learn about the risk factors associated with premature birth. The bill originally made specific reference only to abortion but now includes smoking, alcohol consumption, drug use and inadequate prenatal care. Infants born prematurely face greater risks of developmental impediments and death.

Sen. Warren Daniel, R-Burke and the bill's lead sponsor, cited the conclusions of the North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force, which found in 2012 that more than 125 publications have linked abortion to premature birth. It also included analysis from the General Assembly's research staff that placed annual costs attributable to health complications from abortion-linked premature birth at $98 million.

"If there's a rationale for including the risks of smoking," Daniel said, then there's a justification for including abortion as well.

Democrats and expert opponents have cast doubt on that consensus, saying the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics and other reputable groups don't support the science behind linking abortion to premature births. They argue the bill is an attempt to base curriculum on political ideology.

"I'm concerned about teaching the students what is our religion, philosophical beliefs, minority views, as some absolute scientific evidence," said Sen. Angela Bryant, D-Nash.

Bryant said she wanted to make sure the bill wouldn't stifle debate about the scientific validity of the risk factors. Daniel said the bill wouldn't preempt that debate.

"I don't see why there can't be a discussion about the scientific basis of that, and I think that might in fact be a valuable discussion," he said.

Sen. Ellie Kinnaird, D-Orange, objected to a final vote so she could fine-tune an amendment adding the health risks posed by elective cesarean-section and induced-labor births.

The bill passed 41-5 but will return for a final vote next week. It will then head to the House.

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • Hagan contrasts persona, GOP in NC Senate campaign

    Hagan contrasts persona, GOP in NC Senate campaign

    Saturday, April 19 2014 11:51 AM EDT2014-04-19 15:51:50 GMT
    Kay Hagan's self-identification as a middle-of-the-road U.S. senator who fights for the middle class, among other groups, and responds effectively to constituent requests may sound trite coming from any politician's mouth seeking re-election.
    Kay Hagan's self-identification as a middle-of-the-road U.S. senator who fights for the middle class, among other groups, and responds effectively to constituent requests may sound trite coming from any politician's mouth seeking re-election.
  • Cooper asks NC court to intervene in rate increase

    Cooper asks NC court to intervene in rate increase

    Saturday, April 19 2014 11:46 AM EDT2014-04-19 15:46:50 GMT
    Attorney General Roy Cooper is asking the N.C. Supreme Court to intervene once again on behalf of consumers in light of a decision to restore a rate increase sought by Duke Energy.
    Attorney General Roy Cooper is asking the N.C. Supreme Court to intervene once again on behalf of consumers in light of a decision to restore a rate increase sought by Duke Energy.
  • NC clergy write to Republican government leaders

    NC clergy write to Republican government leaders

    Friday, April 18 2014 7:37 PM EDT2014-04-18 23:37:10 GMT
    Several clergy members opposed to Republican policies approved in North Carolina are asking to meet with GOP state government leaders before the legislative session begin next month.
    Several clergy members opposed to Republican policies approved in North Carolina are asking to meet with GOP state government leaders before the legislative session begin next month.
  • Henry County Suspicious Activity

    Henry County Suspicious Activity

    Saturday, April 19 2014 10:07 PM EDT2014-04-20 02:07:16 GMT
    Press Release from the Henry County Sheriff's OfficeThe Henry County Sheriff’s Office received a call on April 18, 2014 regarding suspicious activity. Three white males driving a white pickup truck were seen in the area of Glen Court in the Ridgeway area of Henry County. The individuals walked to the back of a residence but a neighbor yelled at them and they left. Entry into the home was not gained. On April 19, 2014, three white males were seen on Andra Drive, also in Ridgeway. A male subjec...
    Press Release from the Henry County Sheriff's OfficeThe Henry County Sheriff’s Office received a call on April 18, 2014 regarding suspicious activity. Three white males driving a white pickup truck were seen in the area of Glen Court in the Ridgeway area of Henry County. The individuals walked to the back of a residence but a neighbor yelled at them and they left. Entry into the home was not gained. On April 19, 2014, three white males were seen on Andra Drive, also in Ridgeway. A male subjec...
  • 3 Blacksburg companies raise major capital

    3 Blacksburg companies raise major capital

    Thursday, April 17 2014 2:29 PM EDT2014-04-17 18:29:23 GMT
    Three Blacksburg companies have raised major capital recently.
    Three Blacksburg companies have raised major capital recently.
  • Bedford Co. Sheriff's Office investigates burglary at country club

    Bedford Co. Sheriff's Office investigates burglary at country club

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:16 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:16:02 GMT
    Investigators with the Bedford County Sheriff's Office are investigating a burglary of the Boonsboro Country Club.
    Investigators with the Bedford County Sheriff's Office are investigating a burglary of the Boonsboro Country Club.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.