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Cake "just giving us more ammo against Pat," 12-year-old protester says

Twelve-year-old Madison Kimrey got hooked on protesting about a month and a half ago, when she visited Florida during a demonstration outside a children's museum.

Madison, a Burlington resident, continued that activism this summer with Planned Parenthood and Occupy Raleigh back in her home state. And for her trouble, what has she gotten? A piece of cake.

Tuesday evening, several hours after Gov. Pat McCrory gave cookies to women protesting the state's new abortion law, Madison and her mother, Mary Kimrey, came to the Governor's Mansion to protest with several Occupy Raleigh members. Around 10:30 p.m., a staff member came out of the mansion to shut the doors.

“We were like, ‘Hey, those cookies were really good, could we have some brownies,’ joking and everything” at the staff member, Madison said. (The afternoon protesters had returned the cookies uneaten.)

Morning Memo: Tillis headed to D.C. fundraisers

With the legislative session ended, House Speaker Thom Tillis can focus on raising money for his U.S. Senate campaign. And today he does just that with back-to-back fundraisers at the homes of some well-connected D.C. lobbyists. Meanwhile Reid Wilson, editor of the National Journal Hotline, a campaign tipsheet, writes about "The Trouble with Tillis" and points out that he may not be the candidate the Republicans need to beat Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan. Tillis' trouble? The super PAC funded by donors he nominated — and persuaded House members — to elect to the UNC board. Wilson also says the abortion and voting bills lawmakers passed this year will give Hagan valuable opportunities. Good Tuesday morning and welcome to Dome's Morning Memo.

Democrats, advocates call for "common sense" on abortion bill

Pro-abortion-rights speakers emphasized the lack of female-healthcare providers’ involvement in the political process during a Tuesday Democratic Women’s Caucus press conference.

Arguing against the omnibus abortion bill, Paige Johnson, Planned Parenthood of Central N.C.’s vice president of external affairs, maintained that safety is the organization’s top priority.

She said that though it would restrict women’s rights to choose, she would be willing to work with lawmakers to improve the bill. But no women’s health experts were allowed to testify while it was still eligible for amendments.

“If their goal…is not to shut down providers of safe and legal abortion but rather to make the procedures safer…for women, then why not involve the providers of this healthcare?” she said.

NC Catholic bishops call on lawmakers to approve abortion bill

North Carolina's Catholic bishops are endorsing the abortion bill as the debate enters the House. In a joint statement, Bishop Micahel Burbidge or Raleigh and Bishop Peter Jugis called on Catholics to contact lawmakers and urge them to approve it.

Abortion bill protesters line up for committee meeting

UPDATED:Advocates on both sides of the abortion bill are already forming long lines for a House committee meeting Tuesday at 10 a.m.

Though committee lawmakers won’t vote on the bill during the meeting, members of the public will be allowed to comment. House Bill 695, which passed the Senate Wednesday, has drawn criticism for making abortion clinics meet outpatient surgery clinic standards and requiring doctors to be present when women take pills to induce abortion. Advocates say it’s necessary to make clinics safe.

About 70 pro-abortion-rights activists also gathered on Halifax Mall to hear speeches from event organizers and lawmakers, including Rep. Alma Adams, a Democrat from Greensboro, and Senate Minority Whip Josh Stein, a Democrat from Raleigh. The event was organized by a coalition of groups, including NARAL Pro-Choice N.C. and Planned Parenthood.

Morning Memo: NC's new brand; protests expected to swell

NORTH CAROLINA'S NEW BRAND: "North Carolina’s national brand may be changing – but not the way Gov. Pat McCrory intended when he talked during his campaign about the Tar Heel state undergoing an image makeover," writes columnist Rob Christensen. "… The new brand that McCrory seems to want is that North Carolina is more business-friendly. But since he took office in January, the state has been undergoing a brand change of a very different kind. The sharp rightward turn of the legislature and the Moral Monday protests have turned North Carolina into one of the nation’s top political spectacles. … The national coverage is worth millions of dollars of publicity. Unfortunately for North Carolina, it may also be the wrong kind of publicity." Read more here.

TODAY AT THE STATEHOUSE: They’re back! The House, after taking off a week to let its conflicts with the Senate – taxes, budgets, gun control – simmer, will be back in town Monday night. The calendar is mostly low-profile, local bills except for a final vote on the bill creating a separate regulatory board for charter schools. The state charter school board would be responsible for handing out new charters and shutting down inadequate schools. The bill would dilute the state Board of Education’s powers. The Senate passed the bill in May. Also back: Moral Monday demonstrations, which are expected to draw huge crowds after the Senate's approval of a major abortion bill.

***Get a complete roundup of political news from the extended holiday weekend below in the Dome Morning Memo.***

Perdue: abortion bill invades woman's privacy

Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue on the legislative override on the abortion bill.

“The Republican's social agenda has, with this bill, invaded a woman's life as never before – by marching straight into her doctor's office and dictating the medical advise and treatment she receives,” Perdue said. “I remain opposed to this legislation.”

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