Because the Senate’s bill
apparently wasn’t draconian enough, Republicans in the House have gone ahead and upped the ante on abortion legislation.
House Bill 465
, filed Tuesday by four women Reps.
from all over the state, requires the same bizarre reporting procedures to the Department of Health and Human Services for abortions performed after 16 and 20 weeks, as well as a mandatory 72-hour waiting period.
“This delay, coupled with the additional restrictions, further demonstrates that politicians are attempting to practice medicine with absolutely no understanding of the scope of practice of abortion care,” said Melissa Reed, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic’s vice president of public policy.
The doctor performing an abortion has to be a licensed obstetrician or gynecologist (not just any old physician will do) and must inform the woman of the following:
- medical assistance benefits may be available for prenatal care, childbirth and neonatal care
- the father has to pay child support, even if he has offered to pay for the abortion
- she has “other alternatives” to abortion, including adoption or having a child
- she “has the right” to review propaganda from crisis pregnancy centers steering her away from choosing abortion
- she can withhold her consent to having an abortion at any time before or, um, during the procedure
The bill also has some tortuous guidelines on what to do if an emergency situation compels abortion (i.e., not wait 72 hours) and bars employees at public medical school departments (UNC-Chapel Hill and ECU) from performing abortions. It also blocks public money from paying for abortion services.
“In reality, these bills have nothing to do with patient safety and are just attempts by politicians to insert their own political agendas into medical care,” says Planned Parenthood’s Reed. “It is shameful North Carolina legislators continue to sacrifice women’s health in their ideological attempts to take this state backwards.”
Helpfully, the bill explains instances in which abortion is “not unlawful,” probably because the lawmakers who wrote the bill need to remind themselves that the right to an abortion is protected by federal law.