North Carolina Governor Vetoes Woman’s Right to Know Law

By Dave Andrusko

Gov. Beverly Perdue

Although it was hardly came as a surprise, pro-lifers were deeply disappointed when North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue yesterday vetoed a Woman’s Right to Know law which had passed overwhelmingly in both houses of the legislature.

“We are very much disappointed that she has chosen to override the express will of the people,” said Barbara Holt, president of North Carolina Right to Life. “It’s a sad day for women who are looking for information to make a life and death decision.”

Holt added, “While our elected representatives courageously voted to give women real choice and their unborn babies a chance at life, Governor Purdue has cowardly catered to the powerful pro-abortion lobby in vetoing this bill.”

Perdue stopped in Greensboro where she announced the veto in front of a small audience including representatives from Planned Parenthood. “There should be no intervention … of elected officials in conversations and treatment patterns between doctors and their patients,” said Perdue, a Democrat. “I find it repugnant to women and men and families; it’s just wrong.”  

In a statement, Rep. Ruth Samuelson said, “We are now in a minority of states that require no special informed consent for abortion, and that is shameful, especially with a female governor.” Samuelson, the bill’s primary sponsor in the House, continued, “Having come this far in leadership, Gov. Perdue should have even greater respect for the ability of women to make careful choices when given adequate information. Yet, she made no attempt to work with us in this effort to make abortion safer and rarer, a goal even many abortion advocates support.”

Lawmakers return to Raleigh in less than a month. An override requires a three-fifths majority in both houses. When this bill first passed, it was one vote short in both the house (71-48) and the Senate (29-20). 

Last week the General Assembly overrode Perdue’s veto of the state budget, a budget which included a provision to strip all federal and state money from Planned Parenthood.

The Woman’s Right to Know bill includes multiple provisions to provide abortion-vulnerable women with breathing space before she makes a decision whether to abort.

“The law would have required that every mother be given an opportunity to view an ultrasound of her unborn child prior to an abortion,” Holt said. “It also would have required the state to create a website where mothers can learn more about the development of their unborn children, alternatives to abortion, and a list of places where they can obtain a free ultrasound.”

In addition there is a 24-hour waiting period, a kind of “cooling off” period that allow for reflection. There are 25 other states with similar informed consent laws.

“We are not yet finished,” Holt said, “but so far it has been a rewarding session with the passage of the Ethen’s Law (Unborn Victims of Violence), the repeal of the abortion fund, the elimination of abortion in the administration of the health care plans, and the defunding of Planned Parenthood.”

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