State's motorcycle safety bill roped into abortion debate

Publish Date: 
Jul 12, 2013

RALEIGH, N.C. – North Carolina’s Legislature redefined the term rider this week when members attached a last-minute bill limiting access to abortions to legislation that was intended to further motorcycle safety.

The bill, already an Internet meme as the “Motorcycle Abortion Bill” and the “Motorcycle Vagina Bill,” now goes to the full state Senate for a vote as soon as today.

Until July 10, SB353, introduced in March, was focused on discouraging auto drivers from endangering motorcycle riders by changing lanes without signaling. What survived intact was a  portion of the bill that creates a $750 fine for drivers who cause a motorcycle accident that injures a rider or causes more than $5,000 in property damage.

The bill passed the state General Assembly 74-41 July 11. That was after three hours of debate that included only one reference to motorcycle safety, according to published reports, when Rep. Beverly Earle introduced herself as a motorcycle rider and said, ““I want to let my motorcycle buddies know when I vote against this, it’s not because I don’t care about their safety,” according to MSNBC.

Republican legislators slipped the four pages of abortion restriction law into the two-paragraph motorcycle bill July 10 with no public notice. The item showed up on the agenda as a motorcycle safety bill.

The Senate passed a companion bill last week as a rider on a bill banning Sharia Law.

Posted by Holly Wagner