North Carolina House OKs Right to Know Bill on Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 8, 2011   |   6:55PM   |   Charlotte, NC

North Carolina legislators approved a bill today that pro-life groups support to help women obtain information about abortion’s risks and alternatives they may not otherwise receive before an abortion.

The measure, which also has a 24-hour waiting period component, is designed to help women find positive abortion alternatives. The Woman’s Right to Know bill, H 854, is similar to legislation other states have passed and is proven to reduce abortions. When women are given information about abortion that Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses don’t routinely provide, they frequently consider alternatives.

The state House voted 71-48 for the Right to Know bill that provides them with information about the development of their unborn child, the medical risks associated with having an abortion, and the availability of abortion alternatives.

During the debate, according to an AP report, Republicans explained how the measure would help women considering an abortion and Democrats responded that the measure was an intrusion between the doctor-patient relationship, even though women getting abortions normally have never met the abortion practitioner and will never see him again following the abortion.

Rep. Rick Glazier, a Democrat, specifically criticized the provision allowing women to see an ultrasound of their unborn child before the abortion, and claimed giving them such information “might return us to a time when abortions were more cruel, and harsh and medically unsafe.”

Rep. Pat McElraft, a Republican, told lawmakers how a relative went to an abortion business and insisted on seeing the ultrasound of the unborn baby before the abortion but was denied the ability to do so initially. When the woman saw the image she immediately changed her mind about the abortion.

“We have the right to know what is happening to our body and not to be hidden,” McElraft said, according to AP. “It’s not a true choice unless you have all the information.”

During the committee debate on the legislation, lawmakers engaged in a jaw-dropping discussion to determine if it is better that children not be killed in an abortion or save the state money. Members

of the appropriations committee debated a fiscal note legislative staff attached to the bill saying it would result in more than 2,900 births of children annually who may otherwise have become victims of abortion. The made the estimates based on similar legislation in Mississippi that resulted in abortion reductions and claimed the births would cost the state approximately $7 million a year in Medicaid expenses.

Rep. Burt Jones of Rockingham was incredulous and said, according to WRAL, that he couldn’t believe legislators were debating whether more abortions or more expenses were better.

“To me, it is incredible that we would even debate the idea that somehow we can improve the fiscal impact of this state by not allowing children to be born,” he said. “I’m a fiscal conservative, but if we’ve got to pay a little more money in this state because more children have the right to be born, then so be it.”

North Carolina Right to Life president Barb Holt says the pro-life group strongly supports the legislation.

“This bill will provide women considering abortion with all the facts to make an informed decision 24 hours before an abortion,” she explained. “It will also ensure that she can view the ultrasound of her unborn child. Many women who later regret their abortions say seeing the ultrasound would have helped them choose birth rather than abortion for their unborn children.”

Holt says the bill will also ensure better enforcement of the state’s parental involvement law because it would “close a loophole that allows minors to forge their parent’s signature without the abortion provider having to verify that the parent has actually signed the consent for abortion form.”

“Similar laws in other states have saved many thousands of unborn children from abortion and their mothers from making a decision many later regret. We have the opportunity to save thousands of lives in our state by passing this bill,” Holt says.

Holt indicates approximately 30,000 abortions are done annually in North Carolina and she believes there could be a few thousand less abortions after the law is enacted.

All bills must meet a June 9 crossover deadline by which they must be approved in one chamber of the legislature or they die for the session, which has Holt urging pro-life advocates to contact their state legislators today to urge support for the pro-life measure.

ACTION:  Contact your legislators to urge support for the bill.