@NCCapitol

NC House passes new abortion rules, waiting period

Posted June 8, 2011

— Legislators wrestled with deep philosophical and political differences Wednesday before approving legislation requiring women to get specialized counseling and wait 24 hours before having an abortion.

The state House voted 71-48 to prohibit an abortion unless a woman is provided with state-specified information about the physician at least 24 hours in advance.

The measure was one of several abortion-related bills considered by the House Wednesday. Members also approved legislation that would allow the Division of Motor Vehicles to issue "Choose Life" specialty license plates, with revenue going to nonprofits that provide pregnancy counseling services.

A House committee passed a bill that would limit abortion coverage under the State Health Plan and plans offered by local governments statewide. Exceptions would include cases of rape, incest, stillbirth or where the mother's life is in danger.

Mayors and the North Carolina Association of Educators expressed opposition to the proposal.

"It contravenes many of the efforts of this session to provide local control on decisions about employment and other ways we grow and develop our communities," Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt said.

"The General Assembly doesn't have the expertise to make the medical decision between our members and their doctor and their conscience," said Brian Lewis, government relations manager for NCAE.

Carey Pope, executive director of NARAL Pro Choice North Carolina, said she doesn't like limiting the exceptions to endangering the mother's life.

"There was not any information in the bill about the mother's health, and complications happen all the time with pregnancy – with wanted pregnancies," Pope said.

Medical health Bill would limit abortions for state, local employees

Bill supporters point to the appropriate use of tax dollars.

"You've got abortion, which is a very controversial issue, and you've got folks that are opposed to abortion that don't want to be funding abortion for other folks under the scenario of it being elective – as I call them, birth control abortions," said Rep. Stephen LaRoque, R-Lenoir.

LaRoque, the bill's sponsor, said he doesn't think lawmakers are overstepping their bounds by restricting county and city insurance plans as well.

"I'm a citizen, local citizen, and I pay local taxes, and I don't want my local taxes going to pay for birth control abortions," he said.

Under the waiting-period bill, women also would get information about the likely stage of development of the unborn child, the medical risks of having an abortion and giving birth, and the availability of abortion alternatives.

North Carolina is one of 16 states that don't require specialized counseling before an abortion. Half the states require a waiting period after counseling.

Majority Republicans said the measure is designed to give women more information about what happens in an abortion and who is providing it. GOP lawmakers then largely stayed quiet as Democrats complained the measure was government-mandated intrusion intended on steering someone away from choosing to end a pregnancy by making abortions more costly and difficult.

House debates abortion restrictions House approves abortion restrictions

Rep. Rick Glazier, D-Cumberland, said parts of the bill that require that patients receive information are entirely reasonable, including knowing the physician's name and the probable gestational age of the fetus. Requiring a pregnant woman to undergo and have her view an ultrasound of the developing child, and providing her with "one-sided and government-censored information" about the procedure went too far, Glazier said.

"In truth, this statute's all-transparent purpose is to place a substantial psychological, physical and fiscal obstacle in the place of a woman seeking pre-viability abortion," Glazier said. "It might return us to a time when abortions were more cruel, and harsh and medically unsafe."

Rep. Pat McElraft, R-Carteret, described how a relative and his girlfriend became involved in drugs and she got pregnant. The couple went to an abortion provider, and the woman insisted on viewing the ultrasound of the developing child despite initial refusals, McElraft said.

When the woman saw the image, she saw that the fetus was more developed than she'd been told and was free of deformities that sent her to the abortion provider in the first place, McElraft said.

"We have the right to know what is happening to our body and not to be hidden," McElraft said. "It's not a true choice unless you have all the information."

118 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • gunny462 Jun 10, 2:32 p.m.

    "??? Reports just showed that our education system here works better without more funding! So tax away!"

    "LOL You have a link to that little gem?"

    http://www.wral.com/news/state/story/9695096/

    Ooops try again! We've all been making do with less for 3 years so why should we pay more into a system that is proving to work right now?

  • gunny462 Jun 10, 2:29 p.m.

    "And the relevance of that would be what? Do you think paying for the welfare of all those resultant babies would be cheaper?
    haggis bashe"

    ooh let me see.. MAYBE educate them, take them to NY and show them how the abortions are doen there with screwdrivers. oh yeah, education is part of this bill. tell ya what, you want to pay for some girl to have it? pay for it yourself, for everyone of them.

    "A 12 fetus is not a living human or even close to being one so your comment makes no sense"

    And who made the comparison between a fetus and squirrel, me or ??

    "So would you force your 12 year old daughter to have her rapist child? haggis basher"

    Typical progressive, see anywhere in my posts where I am against abortions when rape is involved? no? please try again!

  • haggis basher Jun 10, 10:21 a.m.

    "I think that all of the conservatives should make themselves useful and carry all of the fetuses to term- if they're so pro-fetus. "

    They don't even want to pay for schooling or healthcare once the kid is born so no chance of that. Its just silly "feel good" issue for the religious right. It make them feel virtuous without them actually having to do anything to fix the real problem.

  • haggis basher Jun 10, 10:15 a.m.

    "And what's the % of black abortions we pay for now? 30-40%?"

    And the relevance of that would be what? Do you think paying for the welfare of all those resultant babies would be cheaper?

  • haggis basher Jun 10, 10:13 a.m.

    "Aaah yes, so let's take it out with a screwdriver like they do up in NY"

    ???? where did I make any comment on how abortions are carried out in NY or anywhere else? If they are carried out in an unsafe manner then thats a completely different matter.

    " And I love how you compare a living human to a squirrel, shows the mind set of people."

    A 12 fetus is not a living human or even close to being one so your comment makes no sense.

    So would you force your 12 year old daughter to have her rapist child?

  • haggis basher Jun 10, 10:09 a.m.

    "??? Reports just showed that our education system here works better without more funding! So tax away!"

    LOL You have a link to that little gem?

  • ambidextrous cat Jun 10, 9:29 a.m.

    I'd love to pay for women to cross state lines if they need an immediate abortion. Women have a right to control what grows inside their bodies. I think that all of the conservatives should make themselves useful and carry all of the fetuses to term- if they're so pro-fetus. They should also donate money and help fund male birth control. Let's give men more control over their reproductive rights as well. Cons should be pro-birth control if they're so into saving the fetuses.

  • gunny462 Jun 10, 8:52 a.m.

    "and if the baby's black the odds of being adopted are already not good"

    And what's the % of black abortions we pay for now? 30-40%?

  • gunny462 Jun 10, 8:51 a.m.

    "I never said it wasn't....but so is a squirrel."

    Aaah yes, so let's take it out with a screwdriver like they do up in NY And I love how you compare a living human to a squirrel, shows the mind set of people.

  • gunny462 Jun 10, 8:49 a.m.

    "The "mess" is easy to fix, leave the 1 cent sales tax and add a few sin taxes like a few buck son a pack of cigarettes. Done....no one will even notice the sale tax not changing, tax revenues will increases and smoking decrease with the sin tax."

    Typical Tax more to create lower income for ppl.

    "And not a penny cut from our already grossly under funded education and child services budgets. haggis basher"

    ??? Reports just showed that our education system here works better without more funding! So tax away!

More...