House committees approve bills on abortion, immigration - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

House committees approve bills on abortion, immigration

House committees passed bills dealing with immigration, abortion and alcohol sales House committees passed bills dealing with immigration, abortion and alcohol sales

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Several state House committees approved bills on controversial issues.

A North Carolina legislative committee wants doctors to be punished with large fines for performing an abortion when the child's sex is a significant factor in a pregnant woman seeking the procedure.

A House judiciary panel recommended Wednesday the Republican-backed measure that seeks to prohibit what's called sex-selective abortions.

The United Nations has raised concerns about gender bias in favor of boys in parts of Asia that lead to abortions of female fetuses. The bill's sponsors provided no evidence the practice is a problem in North Carolina.

Lawmakers say the state should make clear that such discrimination is wrong, but two physicians testified at the committee that the measure will only undermine the trust between doctors and their patients.

The bill now goes to the full House.

A bill granting driving privileges to those in the country illegally and authorizing Arizona-style detainment measures passed its first North Carolina legislative committee test.

A House judiciary committee approved the Republican bill Wednesday 9-3 with some Democratic support. The bill would require residents in the country illegally to pursue a restricted driver's license and allow police to detain anyone suspected of lacking documentation for up to 24 hours to verify legal status.

The latest version of the bill softens restrictions on pre-trial release and requirements that those living in the country illegally pay for incarceration costs.

Some Democrats suggested changing or completely gutting the detainment measure out of concerns it could lead to racial profiling or would not survive court tests.

The bill now heads to the Finance Committee.

Legislation freeing up alcohol sales in stadiums and retail locations is headed to the House floor.

A House commerce committee signed off Wednesday on a bill allowing more in-stand alcohol sales in stadiums and another bill allowing retailers to stock beer in larger, refillable containers.

The first measure would allow employees to sell alcohol in the seating areas of stadiums or ballparks with a seating capacity of at least 3,000. The law previously allowed for in-stand sales only in stadiums of 60,000 or more.

The second bill is aimed at helping the state's craft brewers, who often package their product in containers of up to 64 ounces. The containers known as "growlers" currently are not allowed.

Some Republicans and religious groups opposed the bills, saying they would encourage greater consumption.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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