North Carolina legislators want to make sure abortion doctors in the state are following its 20-week abortion ban.
So, on Jan. 1, North Carolina will become the first in the nation to require that abortion doctors submit ultrasound photos of babies who are aborted at 16 weeks or later to the state for review, WRAL News reports.
Pro-life advocates in North Carolina said they are concerned that abortion doctors may be breaking the law and aborting unborn babies later than 20 weeks. Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the North Carolina Values Coalition, told the news station that the reporting requirement will help to keep the abortion industry in check.
“The state is guaranteeing that the abortion industry is abiding by the law, that babies past 20 weeks have the right to live unless there’s a medical emergency,” Fitzgerald said. “Any time a child is murdered past 20 weeks, this law will make sure that the abortion industry is held accountable.”
Some provisions of the abortion law approved in June are already in effect, including a required 72-hour waiting period for abortions that began in October.
Starting Friday, abortion providers must send the state Department of Health and Human Services records for all abortions or induced miscarriages after the 16th week of pregnancy, including measurements and ultrasound images of fetuses.
The law says the records are for “statistical purposes only,” with patients’ and doctors’ names remaining confidential. The records will not be made public.
Supporters say the change “strengthens” reporting requirements that help state regulators.
The new rules are “medically unnecessary and purely politically driven,” Melissa Reed, director of Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic, said in a statement. “The true intent of the law is clear – to shame women and intimidate the doctors that care for them.” She said it’s “completely inappropriate” for the state to demand ultrasound images that are part of a woman’s personal medical file.
Planned Parenthood said it has gathered 1,300 signatures through an online petition calling on McCrory to “put a stop to this harmful law immediately.” [North Carolina Gov. Pat] McCrory signed the bill into law in June, and he doesn’t have the power to repeal it without the legislature taking action first.
North Carolina is one of about a dozen states that ban abortions at the 20-week mark, when unborn babies can feel pain. Thanks to advances in modern medicine, a baby’s viability outside the womb is getting very close to the 20-week mark, too.
The state also cracked down on the abortion industry in October when it cut taxpayer funding from Planned Parenthood and passed a new law to ban the sale or donation of aborted babies’ body parts. The author of the legislation, state Sen. Chad Barefoot (R-Wake), said he was inspired to introduce the measure after videos were released exposing Planned Parenthood’s organ harvesting business.
As LifeNews previously reported, 11 videos released by The Center for Medical Progress shocked the nation and initiated Congressional investigations into Planned Parenthood’s organ harvesting business. Additionally, 13 states responded to the videos and launched investigations into the abortion corporation including Arizona, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Kansas, Missouri, Arizona, Indiana, Ohio, Georgia, Texas and Louisiana.