Reactions to the abortion bill veto

Pro-choice groups and lawmakers applauded Perdue's veto of a measure requiring a waiting period and ultrasound before abortion. House Republicans condemned the move.

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Perdue veto stamp
Laura Leslie
Democratic leaders and pro-choice advocates applauded Perdue's veto today of House Bill 854, a measure requiring a waiting period, an ultrasound, and state-mandated counseling before abortion.  But House Republicans condemned the move as political.  Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt, D-Buncombe, released the following statement: "For the first time in North Carolina history, HB 854 would impose an ideological agenda on important medical decisions that are best made by a woman and her doctor. This bill opens the door to politicians placing more and more restrictions on what a woman and her doctor can decide is best for her health, even in life-threatening situations. “I applaud Governor Perdue’s veto because women and doctors are certainly capable of making difficult medical decisions themselves, without politicians looking over their shoulders. “Given the bipartisan opposition this extreme bill faced in the Senate, I expect the Senate to be able to sustain the Governor’s veto.”  (One Republican, Sen. Stan Bingham, R-Davidson, voted against the bill, and another, Sen. Richard Stevens, R-Wake, did not vote. If both maintain their positions, Senate Republicans would be one vote shy of the 30 votes needed to override a veto.)  Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina said H854 "would impose medically unnecessary delays and biased counseling on women seeking abortion care." "It’s clear that Governor Perdue, unlike North Carolina’s current House and Senate leadership, trusts women to make personal, private health decisions without government interference. She understands that women think very seriously about their options when faced with an unintended pregnancy. They consult their families and trusted medical professionals and make a decision based on their own personal circumstances, needs and beliefs.  "Planned Parenthood urges legislators to sustain the Governor’s veto and stop the divisive attacks on access to healthcare that characterized this legislative session."  But House Speaker Thom Tillis called the veto a "disappointment:":  “Governor Perdue’s over-eager veto pen has struck again, showcasing the latest disappointment in a record-setting string of vetoes this year.  Good policies continue to be met with hostility in the Governor’s office, and that is unfortunate for the people of North Carolina.”  And the bill's chief sponsor, House Majority Whip Ruth Samuelson, R-Mecklenburg, said the veto runs counter to Perdue's voting record as a state lawmaker: “We are now in a minority of states that require no special informed consent for abortion and that is shameful, especially with a female governor. Having come this far in leadership, Gov. Perdue should have even greater respect for the ability of women to make careful choices when given adequate information. Yet, she made no attempt to work with us in this effort to make abortion safer and rarer, a goal even many abortion advocates support.  "While in the state senate, Gov. Perdue routinely voted against funding for abortion, then as governor she vetoes legislation that provides women the information they need when faced with that same procedure. Unfortunately, it’s just further evidence that Gov. Perdue is more interested in keeping her title than maintaining the principles she voiced as a legislator.”   

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