North Carolina Requires Ultrasounds Before Abortion

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Gina Meeks

Ultraouns pregnant woman
Ultraouns pregnant woman

AP Images/Martin Meissner

North Carolina pro-life supporters are celebrating as a new
measure will be enforced to discourage women from getting abortions.

On Thursday the North Carolina Senate overrode Democratic Gov. Bev
Perdue’s veto of a mandatory ultrasound bill in a 29 to 19 vote.

Doctors in the state will now be required to give an ultrasound to
women seeking an abortion before performing the procedure. They also
must describe the fetus in detail. Women will have to wait 24 hours
before being allowed to kill their baby.

According to Reuters, Elizabeth Nash, public policy associate with
Guttmacher Institute in Washington says North Carolina is joining “25
other U.S. states that require pre-abortion counseling that goes
beyond basic medical ‘informed consent.’”

Nash also said it is the tenth state to include an
ultrasound, an additional requirement.


“It’s a historic vote,” Barbara Holt, president of N.C. Right
to Life, told the Charlotte Observer. “It’s exciting to
see it pass. It’s what we’ve hoped for, worked for for so many
years.”

Perdue vetoed the bill on June 27, calling the legislation a
“dangerous intrusion into the confidential relationship that exists
between women and their doctors” in her veto message.

The primary sponsor of the bill, Republican Rep. Ruth Samuelson,
says it is vital information for women who are making a major
decision.

“If a 24-hour waiting period saves one life, I would hope that
all of us here would likewise agree that any inconvenience to the
doctor or patient [was] also worth it, and was insignificant,”
Republican Sen. Warren Daniel said.

Although a woman will be free to look away and ignore an
explanation and description of the image on the screen, law will
require one be presented and the sound of the fetal heartbeat be
offered.


The Center for Reproductive Rights is challenging similar laws
in Oklahoma and Texas, and in the process of reviewing North
Carolina’s law. According to The News & Observer, the
organization claims that the law may violate the rights of patients
“to avoid unwanted, government-mandated speech in the privacy of a
medical office.”

“A law that requires a woman to cover her ears and hum, I really
don’t view that as a right,” said Jordan Goldberg, the
organization’s state advocacy counsel.

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