Abortion Bill Gets Initial Approval

A bill broadening restrictions on abortion through the federal health care law and so-called conscience protections has gained initial approval from the North Carolina House.

The bill tentatively approved Wednesday outlaws health care plans that include abortion services from future online marketplaces of private plans offered under the federal Affordable Care Act.

It also allows any medical professional to refuse to participate in an abortion and allows any business to refuse to provide contraception coverage on religious or moral grounds. Current law only refers to doctors and nurses but would now extend to pharmacists and technicians.

A provision exempting private businesses from refusing to cover contraception was removed.

Opponents say the bill tramples women's rights.

The bill needs another vote before Thursday night to move to the Senate.