North Carolina: Planned Parenthood Sues to Stop New Pro-Life Law

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 4, 2011   |   12:20PM   |   Charlotte, NC

The Planned Parenthood abortion business has filed suit against the state of North Carolina to stop anew pro-life law that would allow women a chance to see an  ultrasound of their unborn children.

The state legislature recently overrode the veto of pro-abortion Gov. Bev Perdue of legislation to help women avoid abortions with the ultrasound provision and a waiting period. The measure helps women obtain information about abortion’s risks and alternatives they may not otherwise receive before an abortion. The bill also allows women a chance to see an ultrasound of their unborn baby, something abortion centers routinely do but don’t let women see.

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.

However, planned Parenthood, not content to provide women additional information that may prompt them to reconsider an abortion decision, filed suit along with other pro-abortion groups in the Tar Heel State. The bill also requires abortion practitioner to inform women about adoption and inform them that financial help and child support is available if they have the baby.

Sarah Preston, a spokeswoman with the American Civil Liberties Union, told WRAL that the lawsuit was brought because the groups say women will supposedly be denied access to abortion — even though that hasn’t been the case in other states with the law.

“What the U.S. Supreme Court said is you can’t put substantial obstacles in the way of a woman trying to access her right to an abortion. Our position is this creates too many burdens,” Preston said. She claimed the information abortion facilities must present is “clearly biased. Most is non-medical, and it doesn’t respond to the woman’s medical need. This goes above what the Supreme Court has in the past said is acceptable.”

Planned Parenthood Health Inc.’s Melissa Reed told WRAL that the legislators who supported the bill “were so driven by their ideology” but House Majority Leader Paul Stam told the news outlet that Planned Parenthood’s arguments are “factually wrong and bogus” and that providing women information is not a detriment to women.

Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina, Planned Parenthood Health Systems Inc., ACLU, Center for Reproductive Rights and NARAL are behind the lawsuit and WRAL indicates they are meeting today to coordinate lawsuit strategy.

The House voted 72-47 in favor of the veto override and the Senate followed suit by voting 29-19 as Sen. Stan Bingham, a Republican who voted against the bill in June, left the building before the override vote.

National Right to Life applauded the override.

“Mothers and their unborn children are the victors today because this law would protect a mother’s right to receive vital information prior to making a life or death decision about her unborn child,” said Mary Spaulding Balch, director of state legislation for the National Right to Life Committee.“With final passage of this law,  no longer will mothers in North Carolina be left to the one-sided sales-promoting information provided by an industry that is in the business of killing unborn children.”

The informed consent bill provides that a booklet containing scientifically accurate information about risks, alternatives and information on the development of the unborn child, compiled by the Department of Health and Human Services, be offered to the mother at least 24 hours prior to an abortion so that she might have the opportunity to read and understand the information.  It also provides that an ultrasound image of the unborn child be displayed at least four hours prior to an abortion so that the mother might view it.

“The abortion industry, working in league with Governor Perdue, attempted to place a financial bottom line above the rights and protection of mothers,” Balch added.

North Carolina Right to Life president Holt said North Carolina will join twenty-five other states with similar informed consent laws for abortion.

“The law [requires] that every mother be given an opportunity to view an ultrasound of her unborn child prior to an abortion. It also would have required the state to create a website where mothers can learn more about the development of their unborn children, alternatives to abortion, and a list of places where they can obtain a free ultrasound,” Holt said.

Perdue, who supports abortion, already vetoed the state budget in part because it disallowed state taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, and she is expected to veto this pro-woman, pro-life bill as well. According to the Charlotte Observer, Perdue said “government has no role interfering in the relationship between a doctor and a patient” and one of her representatives called the bill an example of “Republicans’ more extreme agenda.”

Some 34 other states already have a waiting period on abortion on the books and Republican Sen. Warren Daniel of Morganton, on the Senate floor, told lawmakers, “We know statistically that this type of legislation helps to make abortions more rare.” He said the bill could reduce the 30,000 abortions in North Carolina annually by as much as 10 percent.

“We believe this gives women the best information they need to make a decision they will live with for the rest of their lives,” said Daniel. “Are we adding regulations to the abortion industry? Yes we are. We know statistically this will save lives.”

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.”