The NC House approved a SEVENTY-TWO HOUR waiting period, up from 24 hours, which was added in 2011 under the so called “Women’s Right To Know” act. This bill does other heinous things. The bill requires that doctors performing abortions on fetuses more than 18 weeks must send the woman’s ultrasound, measurements, etc to DHHS for examination!!! What other medical procedure has anywhere near this level of interference in private medical business!?!
Why would they send women’s private records to the state? “[S]upporters of the bill argued the ultrasounds would allow state regulators to verify that doctors are not performing abortions later than allowed by law, and the amendment failed.
This bill continues to show the current majority of NC lawmakers imposing their will and power over women’s lives. But it should not stand – it is based on hearsay, not science or studies or facts, and it is placing undue burden on women.
Many Republican lawmakers stepped out during the debate, and had to be corralled for the vote. They didn’t have the courtesy to listen to the debate.
The WRAL article, ” NC House approves three-day abortion waiting period”
at http://www.wral.com/nc-house-approves-three-day-abortion-waiting-period/14601698/#iDjXZ2b8FV1icGIf.99 also says how hard some lawmakers (all Democrats) tried to rein this craziness in, and also about their very loud ‘NOs’ on the third and final vote (and maybe every vote).
The bill was heard in the Health Committee on 4/22/15, and was heard by the full House already on 4/23/15. In the full House, only one opponent of the bill was allowed to speak. House Committee chair Rep. Brian Brown completely ignored doctors and other experts who had prepared speeches. Instead, he repeatedly called for anti-abortion testimony.
In “A stark reminder that the far-right still rules in Raleigh,” Chris Fitzsimon wrote the following about the path the bill took.
“The bill was then rushed onto the House Calendar, bypassing a judiciary committee to which it had also been referred for more thorough debate, and it passed the full House early Thursday afternoon.”
At this time, 72 hours is the longest waiting period in the country, and if it becomes law, NC would join the likes of Missouri, South Dakota and Utah.
North Carolina Republican state Rep. Jacqueline Schaffer advocated for the increased wait by compared women’s bodies to real estate.
More quotes from GOP women at “NC GOPer compares women’s bodies to real estate as House passes longest abortion wait in country,” 4/23/15.
Many pro-choice citizens went to the chamber to witness the proceedings. They texted and tweeted and posted the revelations about Rep. Tricia Cotham’s personal story, their outrage at what these interesting Republic women sponsored had the nerve to say, how hard the Democratic representatives tried to be the voice of reason. According to “NC House approves three-day abortion waiting period,” 4/23/15, WRAL.
“The chamber fell completely silent as Rep. Tricia Cotham, D-Mecklenburg, told the story of having to undergo an abortion while serving in the House due to a life-threatening medical complication caused by her first pregnancy, which was not viable.”
“It was awful, it was painful, and it was sad. It was, and is, personal,” Cotham told the stunned House. “This decision was up to me, my husband, my doctor and my God. It was not up to any of you in this chamber, and I didn’t take a survey.”
According to Chris Fitzsimon’s article, “A Stark Reminder that the Far-Right Still Rules in Raleigh,”
“Rep. Tricia Cotham had it exactly right in a floor debate on the bill after sharing her personal story of a miscarriage, calling the longer waiting period a barrier for low-income women and an attempt to perpetuate shame as well as an example of politicians playing doctor.”
This bill, if it becomes law, will act as an additional barrier to access, especially for low-income women who may already face difficulty finding a provider and scheduling the procedure, and who may have to travel far to get the procedure in at least 2 separate trips, or shell out a lot of money to stay for the new extended waiting period.
Many people have talked about Rep. Rick Glazier’s impressive, heartfelt and scathing speech, covering how this bill violates due process, how the hearing was a sham, how real experts, like medical doctors, were prohibited from speaking, how if this bill becomes law, it should go down in flames.
A friend captured Rep. Glazier’s comments in real time, while she witnessed the proceedings with horror from the gallery. Rep. Glazier is also a lawyer and a law professor. Some of Rep. Glazier’s points were
- This bill is about [the House majority interfering with] the power of people to govern themselves.
- Today’s House majority is eager, even hungry to tell the world about its own view of abortion. The GOP majority politicians’ view is that all abortions are bad and can be avoided if [the Government] can make women think and come to their senses. “
- The bill says if 24 hours is good, 72 is better. There is no fact finding to support this. Look at the bill’s text. There is no preamble or finding of fact. It does not even pretend to be based on fact or knowledge. Why should we expect anything different from this group. Facts don’t matter.
- The federal court will look into the Health Committee’s record, which includes a grossly distorted public hearing that was a charade. The record contains no documents, no evidence, no studies, no surveys. Medical experts were present but not allowed to speak. The provisions of this bill are unnecessary and illegal.
- The House Majority pays lip service to women’s rights when a principle is about to be callously disregarded.
- The Majority’s reasons for this bill could not withstand a gentle breeze, let alone the strict scrutiny it will receive.
- The law says no un-due burden. A law is invalid if it places un-due burden.
- This law turns back the hands of time to a more cruel time. Women will continue to find a way to end pregnancies.
This bill continues to show the power of government over women’s lives.
There is not too much hope for any sanity or reason from the NC Senate, although doctors and other opponents should be allowed on record making their points. But expect them to pass it. Unless there would be a revolt and the new speaker would pay attention, as he did with SB2, the religious discrimination law.
We can hope that Governor McCrory will step up and veto it. Maybe he will see the outrage and remember his 2012 campaign promise not to sign any further restrictions on access to abortion, a promise he broke by signing an anti-choice bill in 2013.
Organizations will again have to sue to undo the damage. But we should win!
Thanks to Vicki Vars Boyers for her facebook commentary (running in real time) on the proceedings.
I originally put all the quotes in italics, but they vanished from the post. So orange is the color of our quotes, and the color of our outrage today!