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Cookies, Governor Pat?

Gailya Paliga
President of NC National Organization for Women

From Gailya Paliga, President of NC National Organization for Women:

Last Friday, I believed that Governor Pat McCrory was a mature adult who could make educated decisions. That he would read and discuss the bills put before him and consider their effects on real people’s lives. That he would consult with experts on both sides.

In an attempt to get his attention, Planned Parenthood organized two days of vigil across from the governor’s mansion. A mature leader would have invited the leaders to a meeting and listened to their concerns about the abortion legislation in SB353. The protesters included some of the state’s best minds on how this bill could hurt women. The two sides may not have agreed, but the governor would have real information to consider before making major policy changes.

Instead, he went out of his way to insult the protesters. Monday night after he signed the abortion restrictions into law, he waved at the many protesters from his balcony. Then, just after 1 p.m. on Tuesday, he and his bodyguards brought a tray of cookies to us.

Seriously. He gave them to one of the younger women in our crowd and she tried to give them back.

He doesn’t understand that cookies are not the answer. He should have talked to us weeks ago. He could have learned many things, such as:

1. Closing clinics is not better for women. The law contains Targetted Regulation of Abortion Providers rules that that are costly and cosmetic, requiring clinics to widen hallways, doorways and even entrance awnings.

2. It gives strangers an excuse to question every woman’s personal decision to have an abortion and threatens physicians with lawsuits based on their answers, thanks to the section prohibiting abortions done for “sex-selection.”

3. It allows any health care provider to opt out of participating in abortion procedures.

4. It requires physicians to be present for the entire procedure, even if the doctor would not be in the room during a comparable medical procedure. This is a deliberate move to waste doctors’ time.

5. It tells insurance companies what they can and can’t cover by prohibiting coverage of abortion from health care packages – including for city and county employees. They also cut abortion out of the coming federal exchange.

The abortion bill is cruelty couched as care. Does our governor understand that?

What a disappointment.

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