We strongly condemn the North Carolina General Assembly for passing and Governor McCrory for signing into law HB 465. The law is designed solely to chip away at access to safe and legal abortion. The now mandatory 72-hour waiting period for receiving abortion services says those who have chosen to have an abortion are incapable of making the best decisions for themselves and their families.
Studies have shown that a mandatory waiting period between receiving abortion counseling (already mandated by the state) and obtaining an abortion procedure does nothing to change the mind of the person who has chosen to have an abortion. And while abortion has an over 99% safety record, it is a time-sensitive procedure, and arbitrary delays only increase the likelihood of complications.
Furthermore, this new law now requires doctors to send private ultrasound images to the government for all abortions that take place after 16 weeks, without the consent or knowledge of the patient. North Carolina already prohibits abortion after 20 weeks, and this provision of the law only serves to undermine doctors’ decisions and to shame women for their decisions.
HB 465, and other anti-abortion laws in North Carolina, are paternalistic controls over the reproductive decisions of North Carolinians dressed up as concern for patients. In fact, they are a transparent attempt by those who have sworn opposition to all abortions to place roadblocks in the way of patients and doctors in the hopes that someone will be unable to get the abortion they need.
We know that people who face barriers to all health care, including those with low incomes, people of color, immigrants, those with language barriers, teens, LGBTQ people, and many others, have a more difficult time overcoming these barriers. They are often forced into giving birth by a system that will pay for childbirth but will not pay for the attending costs of abortion—and in fact go out of their way to make abortion much more expensive. That’s coercive, and it forces families deeper into poverty. One in 4 women who qualify for Medicaid report having a child because they could not come up with the funds or resources to get an abortion they need, revealing the cruel reach of the Hyde Amendment. Access to family planning resources, including abortion, is good for our state and society. It’s good for our families. It’s the right thing to do, and laws like HB 465 only show that our state's leaders hold contempt for the decisions North Carolinians make throughout their decades of needing reproductive health care.
At the Carolina Abortion Fund, we trust our callers to make the decisions that are best for themselves and their families. We trust doctors to provide good information and care. We condemn politicians who play politics with the lives of North Carolinians and their families to score points at the expense and disregard of those most in need.