RALEIGH-Last night in a vote of 29 to 20, the NC Senate passed legislation that would, for the first time in North Carolina’s history, impose a mandatory waiting period and state-directed counseling on women seeking abortion care. Referred to as, “The Woman’s Right to Know,” HB 854 inserts government into the exam room and confidential relationship between doctor and patient.
While proponents of this bill referred to it as “informed consent,” the reality is that informed consent is already state law. “In fact,” as Melissa Reed, Vice President of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood Health Systems said, “everything reasonable in this legislation is already required for physicians providing abortion care. On the other hand, arbitrary waiting periods for women seeking health care and state-directed counseling intended to guilt women are not law nor should they ever be law in our state.”
All women seeking abortion care would be subjected to state-mandated “counseling” with no exceptions for victims of rape or incest or even in cases where a much wanted pregnancy goes tragically wrong.
The NC Senate vote last night follows a similar vote along party lines in the NCHouse. The legislation now heads to Governor Bev Perdue. Planned Parenthood in North Carolina is calling on the Governor to veto this intrusive measure. “We are confident Governor Perdue will veto this bill because she knows that women are fully capable of making personal and private health care decisions without government intrusion,” said Paige Johnson, Vice President of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina.
Proponents of this measure failed in both chambers to get the votes necessary to override a gubernatorial veto.
Most major newspapers across the state have editorialized against HB 854: