Parts of Women's Right to Know law take effect in N.C.
RALEIGH — A judge blocked the part of North Carolina's "Woman's Right to Know" law that requires showing a pregnant woman seeking an abortion an ultrasound from taking effect Wednesday.
The new law requires that mothers seeking abortion be given information about the abortion 24 hours before the procedure. Other provisions of the law, which was enacted in July over Governor Beverly Perdue's veto, went into effect Oct. 26.
U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles issued a ruling the day before enjoining the "Right to View" aspect, which called for a real-time ultrasound image of her unborn child be displayed so that she may view the image and hear the heartbeat before the abortion can be performed.
"While we are happy that most of the provisions of the Woman's Right to Know law will go into effect, it is extremely regrettable that mothers will be unable to see real-time images of their unborn children kicking and moving inside the womb and hear their children's heartbeat," Barbara Holt, president of North Carolina Right to Life said in a release.
The informed consent law provides that the mother be given a Department of Health and Human Services compiled booklet containing scientifically accurate information about risks, alternatives and information on the development of the unborn child. The information will be offered to the mother at least 24 hours prior to an abortion so that she might have the opportunity to read and understand the information.
The provision enjoined by Judge Eagles requires that an ultrasound image of the unborn child be displayed at least four hours prior to an abortion so that the mother might view it and that she be given the opportunity to hear the unborn child's heartbeat.
"Displaying the ultrasound image and orally describing what the screen depicts gives mothers another piece they need to make a more informed decision and reduce the chance that she will make a decision based on an incomplete understanding of the full dimensions of her decision, which might later produce terrible remorse," Mary Spaulding Balch, director of state legislation for the National Right to Life Committee, said in a release.
"There are numerous precedents which impact other aspects of people's lives where laws require information be provided, and in many cases displayed and orally described."
Holt said she is confident that upon further review the court will ultimately allow the ultrasound provision to take effect.
— Catholic News Herald
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