Despite the efforts of Governor Beverly Perdue, a new abortion law passed on Thursday in North Carolina stating that women must wait 24 hours and be presented with an ultrasound image of the fetus.
The state law requires that an ultrasound image be presented, though a woman is free to look away and ignore the explanation of what is being shown on the screen.
Gov. Perdue vetoed the measure on June 27, but state Senate members voted Thursday to override her veto.
The law will take effect in October.
Gov. Perdue called the law a “dangerous intrusion into the confidential relationship that exists between women and their doctors.”
“This new law doesn’t really effect any procedures at the Richmond County Health Department,” said Tommy Jarrell, health director. “Federal law prohibits us from providing abortion counseling. We can give them a list of contacts, if they express interest in pursuing that option, but the rest is up to the patient.”
Jarrell said he was not aware of any abortion clinics in the county.
Patients are given contact information for medical service providers in Charlotte and Fayetteville. No one was available for comment at these facilities.
Some lawmakers defend the legislation, claiming it provides crucial information to women who are making an irrevocable decision.
Others, like Paige Johnson, Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina spokesperson, feel the legislation is an intrusion by the state.
“Women give this decision great thought, and these legislators have passed legislation that assumes women are not capable of making this decision,” Johnson said.
— Staff writer Kelli Easterling can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.