Women who are interested in having an abortion would have to wait three times as long and now doctors performing the procedure would in certain cases have to relinquish images of the fetus to the Department of Health and Human Services, under a bill the state Senate approved on Thursday (31-15).
The bill increases the time between the point a woman inquires about an abortion and the time the procedure actually happens from 24 hours to 72 hours. Senator Terry Van Duyn and other Democrats look at the bill as “paternalistic” and “insulting” to women who had already thought about their life altering decision.
On the other hand, Sen. Joyce Krawiec, R-Forsyth, who led the battle on the Senate floor for the bill, said that the waiting period may help to change the minds of young women who don’t know all of their options.
This heated debate on one of the core differences between Democrats and Republicans lasted about an hour. On top of the extension of the abortion waiting period, the bill would require that doctors who perform abortions in which the fetus is older than 16 weeks to send an image of the ultrasound to DHHS.
Sen. Floyd McKissick, D-Durham, said that was an attempt to second-guess doctors and intimidate them so they won’t want to perform the procedure.
Senator Krawiec insisted the new measure would help ensure that North Carolina’s law banning abortion beyond 20 weeks was being followed. The new bill is subject to a second Senate vote next week before returning to the state House for consideration.
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