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RALEIGH — North Carolina lawmakers today introduced legislation that would enshrine the fundamental right to obtain an abortion into state law and repeal state restrictions that impede access to abortion. The Whole Woman’s Health Act, HB 563, also prevents any new, needless barriers to reproductive care by prohibiting restrictions on abortion that have no legitimate medical benefit.

“A woman’s access to abortion care should not depend on her zip code or economic status. We must ensure that the right to an abortion is not just a right on paper, but is a reality for all people,” said Susanna Birdsong, Policy Counsel for the ACLU of North Carolina. “After years of harmful bills that have eroded North Carolinians’ reproductive freedom, the Whole Woman's Health Act would codify a woman's right to access abortion in North Carolina and help guarantee safe, respectful reproductive health care to women across our state”

Among its provisions, House Bill 563 and its companion bill, Senate Bill 588, would

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RALEIGH — Today the NCAA Board of Governors announced that it will again consider bids to host championship events in North Carolina despite the fact that North Carolina has replaced HB2 with a new law that continues to bar protections for LGBT people and ensures that transgender people do not have clear access to restrooms, which limits their ability to go to school, work, and attend sporting events and other public activities.

“North Carolina’s new law does nothing to guarantee that LGBT people will be protected from discrimination, and as the NCAA’s own statement acknowledges, the rights of trans student-athletes, coaches, and fans in particular remain in legal limbo,” said James Esseks, Director of the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project. “This is not an environment that protects people from discrimination.”

HB 142, signed by Governor Roy Cooper last week, prevents public schools and local governments from adopting good policies guaranteeing that transgender people can access facilities matching their gender. HB 142 also says that local governments cannot pass ordinances protecting LGBT people — or anyone else — from discrimination in employment or public places until 2020.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina General Assembly today passed a bill that does not repeal the discriminatory HB 2 law. Instead, it keeps in place the most harmful parts of the law.

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina is delivering a letter to Gov. Roy Cooper urging him to veto the measure — although Cooper has voiced his support for the proposal and is expected to sign it into law.

The new bill bars any protections for transgender people using restrooms or other facilities in schools or other state or local government buildings. This means schools, court houses, city halls, government agencies, and more cannot allow transgender people to use the right restroom.

It also prevents cities from passing any protections for employment discrimination or discrimination by places of public accommodation — for LGBT people or anyone — until 2020.

“This is not a repeal of HB 2. Instead, they’re reinforcing the worst aspects of the law,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU LGBT Project. “North Carolina lawmakers should be ashamed of this backroom deal that continues to play politics with the lives of LGBT North Carolinians.”

The ACLU, ACLU of North Carolina, and Lambda Legal will continue to defend right of transgender people to use restrooms and changing facilities consistent with their gender identity, as federal law requires.  The lawsuit, which includes claims for the damages inflicted by H.B. 2, will continue, and the legal team will seek to amend the lawsuit to challenge H.B. 142 as well. 

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RALEIGH — The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina released the following statement on HB142, a new legislative proposal to address House Bill 2, North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law.

“Lawmakers must reject this disgraceful backroom deal that uses the rights of LGBT people as a bargaining chip,” said Sarah Gillooly, Policy Director for the ACLU of North Carolina. “One year after HB2 was introduced and signed into law in just 12 hours, it is shameful that legislative leaders and North Carolina’s governor are once again rushing through a discriminatory anti-LGBT measure without proper vetting or an opportunity for public input. The way to undo HB2’s profound damage to North Carolina and its people has always been a full, clean repeal, but this proposal would keep anti-LGBT provisions of the law in place and continue to single out and target transgender people. Lawmakers must vote against this proposal, and should it reach his desk, Governor Cooper should withdraw his support and veto it.”

The ACLU and Lambda Legal are challenging HB2 in federal court on behalf of four LGBT North Carolinians and members of the ACLU of North Carolina. The law bans many transgender people from restrooms and other public facilities matching their gender and prohibits local municipalities from extending nondiscrimination protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

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RALEIGH — Groups that are representing LGBT North Carolinians in a federal lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s House Bill 2 today denounced a last-minute proposal from General Assembly leaders that would repeal the anti-LGBT law in name only while still including provisions that would enshrine discriminatory measures into state law.

“Legislative leaders need to stop floating bad proposals that would keep discrimination in state law instead of fully repealing HB2,” said Sarah Gillooly, Policy Director for the ACLU of North Carolina. “The answer all along has been a clean repeal of HB2. Tonight legislative leaders have made one thing clear: they will do everything possible to prevent LGBT people from receiving equal protection under the law.”

“North Carolina lawmakers need to stop playing around and get serious about repealing HB2,” said Simone Bell, Southern Regional Director for Lambda Legal. “It’s now become a game of he said-he said, but they cannot pass the buck on this. The NCAA has given the legislators a deadline and they can’t continue to hide the ball. We have not seen the language of the bill, but what we heard at the press conference sounds like it still allows discrimination against transgender people. North Carolina deserves better than this: Repeal HB2 and replace it with a real non-discrimination bill that recognizes the contributions LGBT North Carolinians make to this state.”

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