Raleigh- In a move that adds insult to injury, late Wednesday night the North Carolina Senate voted 29-20 to pass H.B. 854, the deceptively-titled “Woman’s Right to Know” act. NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina denounces the new anti-choice majority of the General Assembly for their support of this ideological and invasive legislation. While proponents claim this bill will give women the necessary time and understanding to decide whether to carry a pregnancy to term, it will actually create more barriers to accessing abortion, a legal medical procedure. It wrongly assumes that women make this decision lightly and with little consideration.
The bill would require a host of new hurdles for women seeking abortion, including a mandatory ultrasound and 24-hour waiting period – even in cases where they are medically unnecessary – and a state-sanctioned, anti-choice script for all women seeking abortion, with no exception for victims of rape and incest or those whose lives and health are at risk. While a provision of the bill refers to an “informed consent” requirement, the reality is that informed consent for any medical procedure is already state law. Women seeking abortion, like any patient, deserve unbiased medical information from their doctors.
These barriers to access, combined with the state and federal defunding of Planned Parenthood earlier this week, will make it significantly harder for North Carolinians to obtain a safe, legal abortions.
Executive Director Carey Pope said, “These kinds of divisive attacks on choice are out of touch with North Carolinians’ values and priorities. No one standing in an unemployment line wants the legislature to interfere in the doctor-patient relationship, including a woman’s right to choose.”
NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina is optimistic that Governor Perdue will show her respect for the autonomy and decision-making capabilities of women across North Carolina by vetoing this extremist anti-choice legislation.
Media Contact: Carey Pope, 919.706.4510