Several days ago, we had reported here about the fact that the Republican attempt to tighten the abortion laws in North Carolina was half-hearted at best. The bill passed within the last several days.
There are some good aspects to the legislation. The NC Values Coalition reports:
The legislation also bans partial birth abortion; it requires abortion clinics to meet the same health standards of other ambulatory surgical facilities; it stipulates physicians attending surgical abortions must administer life-saving care for babies who survive botched abortions or pay a $250,000 fine; it prohibits eugenic abortions for race, sex and Down Syndrome; it requires any abortion after 12 weeks to be performed in a hospital; and it contains a number of other provisions focused on protecting and honoring human life.
Given that 59% of abortions in NC are chemical abortions, the bill’s provisions related to the dangerous practice alone provide significant protections for women and unborn babies. Specifically, the first of the two pills must be administered by a doctor in person and cannot be mailed, supplied, or dispensed by any other person (even a pharmacy) directly to the woman. Internet and other forms of advertising the abortion pills is forbidden. Violations carry a $5,000 fine per incident.
Significant improvements around informed consent given to women about the risks and complications associated with both surgical abortion and abortion pills are contained in the legislation. The doctor must give the abortion-seeking woman ALL the risks and complications of surgical and chemical abortion, with both the doctor and woman signing a designated form. Women will continue to have a 72-hour waiting period, with an additional 24-hours for surgical abortion pre-op. These changes should stop women from other states from coming to NC as a destination for abortion.
A lefty website documents some of the socialists’ objections to the bill. They cite the fact that the bill requires three visits for abortions performed via oral medication, among other things.
Many of these provisions are good. But the issue is that we have seen these types of incremental measures over the last three decades. The overturning of Roe v. Wade provided a new opportunity to pass bold legislation to protect life– and this wasn’t even a half-measure in that regard. The newly passed bill will, however, make it more difficult to get abortions to some extent; and that is helpful.