North Carolina Passes Voter ID, Abortion Bills

Both are already mired in controversy

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 26, 2013 9:22 AM CDT

(Newser) – Say this for North Carolina's legislature: It's not afraid of controversy. Fresh from approving a bill allowing guns on playgrounds and in bars, lawmakers last night finished off their legislative session by passing both a sweeping abortion bill and a contentious voter ID bill. Here's the skinny on each:

  • The abortion bill would tighten regulations on clinics to such an extent that only one of the state's 16 clinics would currently meet them, the Raleigh News & Observer reports. It would also require more meetings between clinic doctors and patients, and limit insurance coverage of abortion.
  • The voting law, meanwhile, would require would-be voters to present a photo ID, shorten the early voting window from 17 days to 10, and eliminate both same-day registration and a popular high school civics program that registers thousands of soon-to-be 18-year-olds to vote, the AP reports. It also weakens campaign finance disclosure rules, allowing political parties to take unlimited corporate donations.

Both laws are now headed to the governor, Republican Pat McCrory, who has said he will sign the abortion bill—despite a campaign promise not to support new abortion restrictions. He hasn't said if he'll sign the voter ID bill, but if he does, it'll likely be challenged in court, the AP observes, as Eric Holder yesterday said he'd challenge a similar bill in Texas.

Voters cast their ballots at the Herbert Young Community Center polling place in Cary, N.C.. on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, the first day of early voting in North Carolina.
Voters cast their ballots at the Herbert Young Community Center polling place in Cary, N.C.. on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, the first day of early voting in North Carolina.   (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Shawn Rocco)
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