Under the Dome

Planned Parenthood starts two-day protest across from governor's mansion

Planned Parenthood supporters will stand opposite Gov. Pat McCrory’s Blount Street mansion Monday and Tuesday to protest his intent to sign a restrictive abortion bill.

In a press conference on Friday, McCrory said he would sign House Bill 353, which would limit insurance coverage for abortion and place stricter regulations on clinics providing the procedure. Planned Parenthood – a nationwide sexual and reproductive health care provider – and other abortion-rights groups and activists have demonstrated against the bill for the past several weeks, reminding the governor that he promised while campaigning not to sign any legislation further restricting abortion.

“I think it’s probably highly unlikely he will keep his word (and veto the bill), but I want him to know women are going to hold him accountable,” said Melissa Reed, the vice president of public policy for Planned Parenthood.

People who claim McCrory would be restricting access by signing the bill "are more interested in the politics of abortion than the health and safety of North Carolina’s women," said Kim Genardo, the governor’s communications director.

About 10 protesters stood across the street from McCrory’s Raleigh residence Monday morning, after obtaining a permit from the Raleigh Police Department. They’re within their rights as long as they don’t go on mansion property or block the sidewalk.

People signed up for shifts on social media to man the protest site from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday. Reed said they are hoping Moral Monday protesters will join them later in the evening.

In a commentary on the controversial abortion provisions being stuck into a motorcycle safety bill, abortion-rights activists will circle the block surrounding the mansion on motorcycles from 8:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. On Tuesday at 3 p.m., they’ll dress in outfits styled after the television show “Mad Men” and hold an afternoon tea, a move they’ve done before aiming to show how old-fashioned Republicans’ politics on women’s rights are.

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