‘Born alive’ bill was misleading, inaccurate

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Rep. James Gailliard made the right decision to uphold Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the anti-choice, anti-woman, anti-doctor, anti-health care Senate Bill 359.

In his June 7 op-ed, Rep. Gailliard explains how he made what for him was a difficult decision given his initial support for the measure. He goes on to describe how he came to understand the bill was unnecessary. What goes unsaid is that the bill was simply another attempt to spread misleading and inaccurate information about abortion.

Unfortunately, in his attack on Rep Gailliard from June 12, Sen. Rick Horner extended the bill’s inflammatory rhetoric to undermine his colleague. He demonstrated what most North Carolinians already know — legislators make bad doctors. Politics don’t belong in the exam room.

S359 would have criminalized doctors and shamed patients making medically complicated and often emergency medical decisions. It described a situation that, despite what both legislators profess, really does not exist in abortion care. 

My patients already have enough difficulty accessing affordable health care. This bill does nothing to make them, their families or children safer. If the legislature wants to focus on protecting life, let’s prioritize the lives of families in our state who deserve access to essential health care. 

In North Carolina, over 500,000 people don’t have access to quality health care because the Republican-led legislature will not expand Medicaid. That should have been the focus over the past two months, not this nonsense bill. 

Jonas Swartz, MD


The writer is an obstetrician and gynecologist in Chapel Hill and a fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health.