Under the Dome

House committee OK's new version of abortion bill

UPDATED: Hours after Gov. Pat McCrory threatened to veto a controversial abortion bill unless his concerns about it were addressed, a House committee approved on Wednesday a new version of the bill that apparently answers the governor's questions.

Rep. Ruth Samuelson, a Republican from Charlotte, said questions raised by the state Department of Health and Human Services at a committee meeting on Tuesday had been resolved in discussions leading up to Wednesday's meeting.

The main changes were relaxing the proposed standards that abortion clinics would have to meet -- sharing some regulations with ambulatory surgery centers but not making them identical -- and allowing pregnant women to take abortion-inducing medicine at home after taking an initial dose at a clinic under a doctor's supervision.

Most other provisions in the bill were left intact.

After the meeting, Samuelson said she thought the governor's office released the veto threat earlier Wednesday morning because it wasn't certain at that point that the compromise language in the bill would be able to proceed as it did attached to a substitute bill.

The new bill was worked into an unrelated bill and brought up in a House judiciary committee meeting without any advance notice. Samuelson said that was because details were still being worked out on Wednesday morning.

Samuelson also disputed criticism that the House was rushing the bill through without significant public input. She noted that the House could have voted not to concur with the Senate's vote last week approving the bill, and that would have sent the dispute behind closed doors to a conference committee between the two chambers.

Instead, what House leaders are calling an unprecedented committee meeting was held for two hours on Tuesday, where public input was allowed. She said slipping the rewrite into an unrelated bill on Wednesday's committee calendar was necessary to advance the bill as the General Assembly is working toward adjourning. Wednesday's meeting lasted close to two hours.

Still, Democrats on the committee and abortion-rights advocates accused Republicans of abusing the process.

The new bill is SB353.

Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam, an Apex Republican involved in the effort, said the new measure mollifies the governor's concerns.

"We want to make sure these procedures are not designed to close down clinics," said Samuelson.

The Sharia law language from the Senate bill is not included in this latest House measure, but the motorcycle safety provisions are still in the bill.

A spokesman for House leadership said it wasn't yet known if the bill would go to the House floor on Wednesday.

-- Craig Jarvis, Annalise Frank and John Frank, staff writers


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Shezanne Cassim, the American jailed in the United Arab Emirates after posting a video parody, was sentenced Monday to one year in prison and a fine of 10,000 UAE dirhams (approximately $2,700).
The young American living in the UAE has been imprisoned since April, his family says, for posting what was intended to be a funny video on the Internet.
He was accused of defaming the UAE's image abroad, according to The National, the country's main English-language newspaper.
The video in question is a 19-minute short that pokes fun at a clique of Dubai teens who are influenced by hip-hop culture. In the 1990s, the label "Satwa G" was coined for a group of suburban teens who were known to talk tougher than they really were.
The video depicts a look at a "combat school" in the suburb of Satwa, where these "gangsters" are trained. The training includes how to throw sandals at targets, using clothing accessories as whips, and how to call on the phone for backup.Cassim's family says the 29-year-old has been charged with endangering national security.The charges were not read out in court. UAE officials would only say "Mr. Cassim was charged under the UAE's penal code. Anyone charged with a crime under the laws of the UAE is entitled to the fair trial protections contained in the UAE's constitution."
Cassim, from Woodbury, Minnesota, moved to Dubai in 2006 after graduating from college to work for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
He and some friends made and posted the video online in 2012. He was arrested in April. He was interrogated and arrested in Dubai before being transferred to a maximum security prison in Abu Dhabi. His family says it was five months before he was notified of the charges against him.

Anybody can, at this time,

Anybody can, at this time, go to the Costco website and apply for a Costco home loan. The chain partners with a small number of lenders and can arrange a home loan for applicants and members and non-members can apply, though customers get a pretty significant discount. A personal finance can help you get cash for closing costs on your house.See more at:

Is anyone surprised?

They are clean-shaven (except for Stam), turbanless ayatollahs in business suits.
Sharon K


Good work Republicans.... Nice way to spend taxpayer dollars, on the issues that matter. I'm glad that the real problems of North Carolina are FINALLY getting the attention they deserve.

Oh, by the way, how many days till the next election?

Alan L
Raleigh, NC


These here good old boys couldn't give a rat's behind about the people of NC. This here group of MOrons is all 'bout God Guns and Gays and they are an embarrassment decent North Carolinians.

Everyday it is something

Everyday it is something new....I get that very sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that this is the beginning of the terror we are seeing. I just hope when the smoke clears, the republicans haven't damaged NC to the point that we can't rebuild....


This is just a job creation bill hidden inside an abortion bill couched inside a motorcycle safety bill. I'm certain of it.

I mean, they are creating jobs and bringing in business to NC, right?


What's going on here?

This starting to look like a three-ring circus. Attached to a laughable anti-Sharia Law bill, now to a motorcycle safety bill? You couldn't make up something funnier if you tried for a month.

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