NC House Committee Passes New Rules On Abortion
A state House committee has passed a bill that would lengthen the mandatory waiting period before a woman could have an abortion.
Under current North Carolina law, a woman electing to have an abortion must contact a doctor, either in person or by phone, 24 hours before the procedure. And the physician must provide information about public assistance programs, child support laws and alternatives to abortion in that initial conversation.
House Bill 465 would triple the wait time from 24 to 72 hours. "This bill is and has always been about protecting women’s health," says Jacqueline Schaffer, a Republican from Mecklenburg county who co-sponsored the bill. She stated there’s a 72 hour period when you can back out of buying a home, then added this of the bill, "It does not restrict access to abortion but does insure that we’re promoting the health and welfare of women who seek an abortion as well as the lives of the unborn."
Democrat Verla Insko disagreed, "This bill is not for anyone’s medical safety." Speaking against the bill, Insko added, "if it’s done for emotional protection, that flies in the face of all of our other comments that people have to live with their own decisions."
Democrat Tricia Cotham asked what other medical procedures require a 72 hour waiting period. Schafer replied, "If you’re going in for a voluntary sterilization you have a 30 day waiting period before you can do that."
When the vote came it was along party lines, 18 Republicans for the measure, 10 Democrats against. The bill has to be passed by one more committee before making its way for a debate on the house floor.