Because I am a woman and a physician, I am doubly aggrieved by the onerous abortion bill passed by the N.C. House (June 9 news story). I have read through the burdens it imposes on patients and doctors during a time when patients can feel quite vulnerable.
The bill requires a 24-hour waiting period before the procedure, even when the physician documents that this wait will result in psychological harm to the patient. It gives the physician a scripted message to give every patient and requires that pregnant women undergo ultrasounds. The physician would be required to show the images and has to document whether the patient declines to look. The physician must proceed with a running commentary on the structures he views. I do not see in this bill that she can tell him to stop, even if it’s causing her emotional distress. Above all, the bill inserts the politicians’ beliefs and language between the physician and patients during a medical procedure.
In a gesture that is profoundly cynical, the bill says the physician must inform the patient that if she chooses not to terminate the pregnancy, medical care and support services may be available. At a time when the legislature seems bent on cutting support services, this promise seems empty indeed.
Susan L. Eder, M.D., Raleigh
Emphasis mine. Thank you Susan L. Eder for standing for women’s reproductive rights in North Carolina as a woman and as a doctor. From The News and Observer.