U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles, nominated in March of last year by President Barack Obama, has blocked (.pdf) certain provisions of North Carolina’s informed consent law, the Woman’s Right to Know Act. Specifically, Eagles blocked provisions that would have required abortion practitioners or their trained technicians to perform an ultrasound on women seeking abortion in their facilities, allow women to view the screen to see the ultrasound image, and provide an explanation of what they see on the screen. Eagles ruled that these requirements are in violation of the abortion practitioners’ freedom of speech.
In the movement to restore the life rights for unborn children, some abortion-supporting critics have asked, “Why are pro-lifers focused on Planned Parenthood? Don’t they know Planned Parenthood does many other things besides abortion?”
The truth is that while Planned Parenthood offers other services, they are America’s leading abortion giant. Below we list five reasons why this focus of pro-life advocates is justified if abortion is to be abolished.
On Monday, North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue vetoed a measure designed to make more information readily available for women considering an abortion. The legislation includes a 24-hour waiting period, mandated access to ultrasound, and a list of important information abortion doctors are required to tell their patients.
Governor Perdue defended her veto by arguing that the bill interferes with the doctor-patient relationship.
According to Reuters,
“This bill is a dangerous intrusion into the confidential relationship that exists between women and their doctors,” the Democratic governor said in a statement.
“The bill contains provisions that are the most extreme in the nation in terms of interfering with that relationship.” [emphasis mine]
Upon reading the actual legislation, it is difficult to find the “extreme” interferences mentioned by Governor Perdue. Doctors are required to give essential information to their their patients. This includes:
- The name of the doctor who will perform the abortion
- The medical risks of the particular abortion
- The probable gestational age of the unborn child
- That ultrasound imaging and other printed information is available
- That the woman has other alternatives to the abortion procedure such as adoption or keeping the baby
- That the woman is free to withdraw her consent to the abortion at any time
Doctors are also required to perform an ultrasound on their patients and provide a medical description of the ultrasound images.
Do these requirements sound like the country’s “most extreme” interferences in the doctor-patient relationship? Doctors should give their patients basic information before performing any procedure. Patients have a right to know and weigh their options. The bill simply makes this standard procedure a requirement, thereby protecting women from the pressures or negligence of abortion providers. The North Carolina legislation is not the first of its kind either; twenty-five other states have adopted similar laws.
“Choice” is defined as “an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.” Letting a patient know her options is as pro-choice as it comes. And yet, the pro-abortion lobby continues to fight against laws like the one in North Carolina. The reason is obvious—these laws historically lead to reductions in the number of abortions. Live Action’s investigations have repeatedly shown that the primary concern of abortion providers is not to help women, but to sell abortion at whatever the cost.
North Carolina became the 3rd state to defund Planned Parenthood when its legislature overrode the Governor’s veto of the the proposed state budget today, which included a provision barring any funding from going to Planned Parenthood. From HuffPo, who don’t seem too happy about the news:
Republican state representatives in North Carolina voted to override Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue’s veto of the state budget Wednesday morning, ensuring that a provision to strip all federal and state money from Planned Parenthood will take effect on July 1. North Carolina is now the third state, after Indiana and Kansas, to defund the family planning provider because it also provides abortions.
The defunding is expected to strip $434,000 from Planned Parenthood. It sends an especially strong message that the North Carolina legislature passed the defunding by overriding the Governor’s veto. Let’s see it happen everywhere!