From WRAL's Mark Binker:

During an Oct. 24, 2012, debate, WRAL News reporter Laura Leslie asked soon-to-be Gov. Pat McCrory the following: "If you are elected governor, what further restrictions on abortion would you agree to sign?"

McCrory's one-word reply: "None."

The governor broke that promise yesterday when he signed this bill.

Breaking a promise is bad enough. McCrory has compounded his dishonesty by denying it. He says the bill does not restrict access to abortion. Instead, it safeguards patient safety.

That line doesn't survive even casual scrutiny.

Part II of the bill is titled "Limits on abortion funding under health insurance plans offered through a health insurance exchange or by local governments." Those "limits" obviously amount to "restrictions on abortion." If insurance plans won't cover abortions, some women won't have reasonable access.

Part III of the bill contains a section titled, "Sex-selective abortion prohibited." While I would decry such a decision, it is plain that prohibiting abortions for sex-selection is a restriction.

(I would suggest it's also unconstitutional. A woman's legal right to an abortion is not conditional on whether she has a good reason.)

It's not necessary to argue whether new regulations on abortion clinics amount to restrictions. It's already clear from Parts II and III of the bill that McCrory blew away his promise. He signed a bill adding "restrictions on abortion," which he said he would not do.

I suppose he never meant to make that promise in the first place. When Leslie posed the question during the debate, he chose to dismiss it with a one-word answer that allowed no follow-up. Abortion was probably the last subject McCrory wanted to talk about. Saying "none" avoided any need for further discussion. He didn't have to address nuance, conditions, if's and's or but's.

Ironically, that's exactly what he's trying to do now to explain why he didn't really break his word.

Governor, it isn't working. You're making it worse. You should just come clean and admit that when you said "none," you didn't anticipate that there might be some restrictions on abortion you could or would support.

That wouldn't satisfy everyone by any means, but at least you wouldn't be piling dishonesty on top of dishonesty.

Continue Reading