Friday, July 29, 2011

Trust women? Not in North Carolina

Last week, I wrote about the good news.

Today, I want to share with you this news about the new law in North Carolina, that is about the most draconian restrictions on women's right to choose abortion I can imagine.

I can't imagine what it would be like to be required to have and view an ultrasound of a fetus and listen to its heartbeat that I knew for my very own personal reasons would be a baby I would never know. And then have to receive state prescribed information and then being asked to wait to have the procedure for 24 hours.

This article says it will change some 27,000 women's minds who will go on to have babies that they had initially believed they were unprepared to raise. One wonders what North Carolina is prepared to do to support those children -- and those mothers -- after those births.

Here's what happened in North Carolina yesterday:

Women will get more information and face new restrictions before having an abortion in North Carolina after the state Senate passed the regulations into law Thursday over Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue's veto.

The Republican-led Legislature completed its veto override when the Senate voted 29-19 to approve the bill requiring women to receive counseling and wait 24 hours before an abortion. The House agreed to the override earlier this week.

The only Republican who voted against the measure when it initially passed the Senate last month, Sen. Stan Bingham of Davidson County, did not vote on Thursday. With one other Republican missing this week, the GOP had just enough votes to override Perdue's veto.

Based on the impact of similar laws in other states, the restrictions would cut the more than 27,000 abortions and result in about 2,900 additional births per year, legislative fiscal analysts said. That will cost taxpayers about $7 million a year, mostly because nearly half of the births would be funded entirely or in part by Medicaid, the health program for the poor.

North Carolina had been one of 16 states that don't require specialized counseling before an abortion. Half of all states require counseling, then a waiting period.

The law prohibits an abortion unless a woman is provided with state-specified information about the physician at least 24 hours in advance. 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.

The new law also requires that an ultrasound be presented along with a chance to hear the fetal heartbeat. Women do have the choice to look away.

Majority Republicans said the measure is designed to give women more information about what happens in an abortion and who is providing it. Social conservatives praised the bill, which also requires a woman consider an offer to see the shape of the fetus and hear a heartbeat.


Jeff said...

Debra, I too oppose this law. But I think you may have mischaracterized some of the details. The article says that 2,900 women are expected to not abort, rather than the 27,000 you say (27,000 is the total number of abortions yearly, which would apparently decrease to about 24,100). The law does not appear to require women to look at an ultrasound or listen to a heartbeat: it requires doctors to extend the offer of an opportunity of viewing an ultrasound and of hearing a heartbeat, which would take place if the woman wishes. At least, that's what this article you've provided appears to say.

Pastor Joelle said...

Funny we get SOOooo much information when we want an abortion. But try to find out info on the doctor or any other medical procedure - forget it!