Remember the Miller Analogies Test you took for grad school? If presented with the words, "Sharia Law" and "Motorcycle Safety" what might you determine the two had in common?
That's a difficult one, so I will give you the answer. Both of these words were "covers" for bills in the NC General Assembly to which abortion restrictions were added.
Two weeks ago the Senate passed a bill regarding Sharia Law to the effect that NC does not honor Sharia Law. (Duh!) Without notification to the public or interested parties, severe restrictions on the rights of women to obtain abortions were added to the Sharia bill. The bill included such severe restrictions that it would effectively shut down every reproductive health provider providing abortions in the entire state except for one provider in Asheville.
The governor (who ran on a platform that he would not support ANY additional restrictions on abortion) indicated that he was not pleased with the manner in which the bill was rushed through the Senate. He called for discussion and stated that he would veto the legislation if it came across his desk as written.
So the NC House of Representatives brought forth a motorcycle safety bill last week. Western NC Representative Joe Sam Queen was really surprised when he opened the folder regarding the motorcycle safety bill. The bill contained seventeen (yes, 17) words on motorcycle safety!!! The remainder of the bill was about abortion restrictions. Again, no notice to the public. Apparently not even any notice to the Representatives on the committee.
The House version of the bill changed very little from the Senate bill. One change was that a physician needed only be present for the FIRST DOSE of RU-487, not the entire time. But the restrictions on providers included in the bill would still have the effect of closing all providers except for the one in Asheville. (NC is a very long state. The drive from the NC coast to Asheville is more than eight hours.) The governor, contrary to his pre-election statements, has indicated that he will sign the House version of the bill.
Protests continue every Monday in Raleigh, at the General Assembly. Hundreds have been arrested during these peaceful and lawful demonstrations.
(The following two photographs from the Raleigh News and Observer)
She definitely looks like a criminal in need of handcuffs, doesn't she?
Many have suggested that the peaceful protesters should receive nothing more than citations, if that. It certainly appears that the arrests are politically motivated. But the General Assembly Police Chief denies that they are political. He says they are "necessary to disperse the weekly crowds."
Take a close look at the following photograph of a Moral Monday arrest. Look closely at the number of people and their composition. How many police officers does it take to arrest a single non-violent woman trying to take a legal stand against an oppressive leadership?
Oh, she looks dangerous as well.
It's not just abortion rights and it's not just me, friends. The Editorial Board of the New York Times recently printed an op-ed titled "The Decline of North Carolina." (You can find the July 9 editorial here) The piece ends with the following sad words:
"North Carolina was once considered a beacon of farsightedness in the South, an exception in a region of poor education, intolerance and tightfistedness. In a few short months, Republicans have begun to dismantle a reputation that took years to build."
This is my State and I still love it and don't want to live anywhere else. It breaks my heart to see my State take away from the poor and disadvantaged and give more to the rich pigs who bought the seats in our General Assembly.
Humorist Jim Hightower said,
"You will never clear up the water until you get the hogs out of the creek."
I hope that if we all speak up we might be able to do just that.