Let’s get one thing straight: motorcycles and women’s health care have nothing to do with one another. That didn’t stop the North Carolina General Assembly, under the leadership of House Speaker Thom Tillis, from attaching deeply unpopular abortion restrictions to an unrelated motorcycle safety bill last year. Now, Tillis is running against incumbent and women’s health champion Kay Hagan in the November 2014 U.S. Senate race. If he wins, he is sure to take his anti-women’s health agenda and sneaky tactics with him up to Washington.
We’re going back to the Capitol today to tell Thom Tillis that we haven’t forgotten, and we’re making sure all North Carolinians know when, where, and how to help keep him out of the U.S. Senate. What can you do? Tell #TooFarTillis: YOU’VE GONE TOO FAR.
Remembering Tillis’ Tricky Tactics to Block Women’s Health Services
Thom Tillis is the chump who packed two bills — unrelated to women’s health — with a slew of dangerous abortion restrictions.
Tillis and his allies used every trick in the book to get the “Motorcycle Vagina” bill passed, despite vehement opposition from women and families across the state. The restrictions were first added to a bill about sharia law (seriously) late at night on July 2, 2013. The following morning, over 600 women’s health supporters packed the legislature, outraged by the underhanded tactics. Popular opposition didn’t stop Tillis from holding closed meetings about the bill or from sneaking these dangerous restrictions into another unrelated motorcycle safety bill and making sure it passed without input from a single medical professional.
Eighty percent of North Carolinians thought it was inappropriate to tuck abortion restrictions into a motorcycle safety bill, which became law July 10, 2013 — one year ago today.
That move won him our Gynotician of the Week honor. But Tillis’ terrible record and agenda on women’s health doesn’t end there.
Tillis’ Long Track Record of Attacking Women’s Heath
Let’s take a moment to remember the many reasons that Thom Tillis is bad for North Carolina women and families, and why we must stop him from becoming our next U.S. Senator:
- Throughout his career, Thom Tillis has made restricting women’s access to safe and legal abortion a top priority.
- In 2011, Tillis championed the medically unnecessary, mandatory ultrasound bill — a measure designed to shame and judge a woman seeking an abortion. The bill required abortion providers to perform an ultrasound, place the image in the woman’s line of sight, and read a government-mandated script — even if she objects.
- He supported a budget that would cut women off from preventive and lifesaving health care at Planned Parenthood, including well-woman exams and cancer screenings.
- Did we mention he wants to outlaw safe and legal abortion? Yep.
If all that weren’t enough, Tillis just said he thinks bosses, like those at arts and crafts store Hobby Lobby, should be able to decide if their female employees can access birth control.
Recent Flip-Flopping & Mind-Muddling
While Tillis once flaunted his extreme and dangerous positions, he is now flip-flopping in an effort to back away from his unpopular agenda and record on women’s health.
During the Republican primary, Tillis said that states have the right to ban birth control. But that position suddenly shifted, and Tillis’ campaign recently said states should NOT ban contraceptives.
Tillis has long supported a so-called “personhood” amendment, which would interfere with decisions about birth control, safe abortion, management of a miscarriage, and access to fertility treatments. Such an initiative would grant legal protections to a fertilized human egg and is logically consistent with the view that abortion is always wrong — no exceptions.
“… every human being at every stage of development must be recognized as a person possessing the right to life in federal and state laws without exception and without compromise.”— Personhood USA
But simultaneously, Tillis believes abortion should be illegal with the exceptions of saving the life of the woman, and in cases of rape and incest. You can’t have it both ways, Tillis. And you’ve gone too far.
Tell #TooFarTillis: You’ve Gone Too Far!
Women in North Carolina can’t trust Thom Tillis to represent us in the nation’s capital. He’s gone too far, and we won’t let him go any farther. If you’ve had enough of the backward vision that Thom Tillis has for women, tell him: YOU’VE GONE TOO FAR! And keep the conversation going online with the hashtag #TooFarTillis.
To mark the one-year anniversary of the Motorcycle Vagina bill, join the “Too Far Tillis” rally in Raleigh, N.C., with Planned Parenthood Votes on Thursday, July 10, at 6 p.m. As we’ve invited supporters to join us at the rally tonight, dozens have shared their stories from last summer. Some of them packed the gallery in the legislative chamber, some of them stood outside the governor’s mansion for days in the late-July heat. None of them have forgotten the sneak attacks. All of them are excited and ready to hold Tillis accountable.
Emily Callen is the Wake County, N.C., Field Director for Planned Parenthood Votes campaign to re-elect Kay Hagan.