From there to here, Obama to ultrasound

One way to tell a political story.

I’m not an expert in electoral or legislative politics. But this is how I’m seeing how we got to the latest abortion bills in North Carolina.

1. Barack Obama elected president, 2008.

2. White racial animosity helps animate and coalesce the Tea Party movement.

3. In 2010, Republican Harry Warren, a human resource specialist for Wendy’s franchises, runs for North Carolina’s state assembly on a platform of cutting taxes, cutting education spending, and annexation reform. He wins the Republican primary with 66% of the vote after endorsement by the N.C. Tea Party.

According to his website, Warren was a political science major at Kent State during the Vietnam War. His general statement reads:

The Needs of this district are no different than the needs of the nation-safety from attack, whether by terrorists or street criminals; fiscal responsibility on the part of those we elect to positions of public trust; a flourishing economic environment to provide meaningful work and opportunity for advancement; and an educational system that builds a strong, diverse citizenship to ensure our future.

4. In November 2010, Warren wins 50.5% of the vote, beating 10-year incumbent Democrat Lorene Coats by 166 votes, 9,117 to 8,951.

5. With a new Republican majority in both houses of state government, N.C. House leader Paul “Skip” Stam (cropped at right) announces “100 Days That Will Change North Carolina,” by opposing Obamacare, stopping unions, cutting regulation and school spending, expanding charter schools, requiring voter IDs, and annexation reform.

6. Over a veto by Gov. Bev Perdue, the NC legislature passes a budget that bans funding for Planned Parenthood’s reproductive health services.

7. June 8, 2011. NC House Bill 854, the “Woman’s Right to Know Act,” passes in the House, with Warren as a cosponsor.

The law would require an “an obstetric real‑time view of the unborn child” be shown to any pregnant woman seeking an abortion, with “a simultaneous explanation of what the display is depicting, which shall include the presence, location, and dimensions of the unborn child within the uterus and the number of unborn children depicted.” Also, “The individual performing the display shall offer the pregnant woman the opportunity to hear the fetal heart tone.” (Patients would, however, be legally allowed to avert their eyes and refuse to listen.) The Senate also passed the bill, which will presumably be vetoed by Gov. Bev Perdue.

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