By Jesse Wood
Gov. Pat McCrory said he will sign House Bill 465, which requires a woman who decides to have an abortion wait at least 72 hours rather than the current 24 hours.
Following the passage of the legislation in the N.C. General Assembly earlier this week, McCrory released this statement:
“… Some very positive progress was made during the last several days to protect women’s health. Working with House and Senate members, we ensured that contact, including a simple phone call, would start a reasonable process that protects women’s health, and we also more clearly and rationally defined medical training and qualifications to ensure there will be no further restrictions on access. In addition, there are other provisions that protect children in the bill, something my administration sought. Therefore, I will sign this bill.
On Thursday, the national and state chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union urged McCrory to do the opposite.
The ACLU noted that North Carolina would be one of only five states to mandate at least a 72-hour wait period to have an abortion and that McCrory said during his 2012 campaign that he “vowed to sign no further restrictions on abortion access in the state.”
“This bill doesn’t help women. All it does is shame a woman who has already decided to have an abortion,” said Jennifer Dalven, director of the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project. “This bill is the legislative equivalent of a politician patting a woman on the head and telling her he knows she’ll make the right decision if she just goes home and thinks about it a little more. Gov. McCrory should veto it.”
The ACLU cited polling that most Americans identify as pro-choice and seven out of 10 Americans say that women should be able to make the decision to have an abortion “without additional hurdles.”
“Medical experts say that these bills do not help women. Instead, they can push abortion later into pregnancy and subject women to stigma and shame. These bills have no medical basis, and medical groups like the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists oppose these types of laws,” an ACLU release reads.
N.C. Sen. Dan Soucek, who voted for the bill, took a different stance in his May newsletter and said that the bill provides higher quality care and increases safety and additional protections for women and children.
This bill, Soucek said, ensures “women have sufficient time to make the most informed choice” and that the provisions in the bill are “important steps towards improving the quality of life for all North Carolinians.”