Women face tougher restrictions under new NC abortion law

Published: Jul. 28, 2011 at 11:17 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 27, 2011 at 11:20 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WBTV) -- A controversial move in North Carolina puts stricter restrictions on how and when women can get abortions.

Governor Beverly Perdue used her veto power to try and put a stop to this law but Thursday, the Republican-led legislature voted to override the Governor's move.

Now women seeking abortions have to follow a checklist of steps first.

Both sides of the abortion issue in North Carolina weighing in.

"There is a victory for life today and I couldn't be happier," said David Hains with Catholic Voice North Carolina.

But pro-choice advocates said this is dark day for women across the state.

"This is a tragedy for women in North Carolina," said Melissa Reed, Vice-President of Development for Planned Parenthood North Carolina.  "For a woman of very little means, she may have to take two or three days off work, find childcare for her other children."

The new law makes three major changes: there is now a 24 hour waiting period after women seek an abortion, they must receive state mandated counseling and view an ultrasound of the fetus beforehand. Even after viewing the sound, women will have to wait additional four hours before the procedure is performed.

Reed said legislators have gone too far.

"This is big government inserting itself into the most private decision a woman can make," she said. "The best way to reduce the need for abortion is with sex education and access to free contraception. This is not the way to do it."

But Hains disagreed and said while organizations like his are always concerned about role of government they doesn't think legislators crossed the line.

"This was a middle ground approach that has been successful," he pointed out. "And if we cant talk about and work toward something that does make abortion more rare which everybody agrees is not, what -- we have to do that."

But Reed believes finding that middle ground can't come at the expense of a woman's constitutional rights.

"This bill and the script associated with it and the barriers in place with waiting periods are designed to shame women and to get them to make a different decision," Reed said.

Not only that Reed said the new law will make doctors more vulnerable to malpractice claims.

"The rapist can sue the doctor," she said. "And abusive husband can sue the doctor if he doesn't think all the steps have been followed. So the medical malpractice is going to increase."

There are also no exceptions to the new law. Even if you're a victim of rape or incest, you are still bound by these restrictions.

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