Planned Parenthood, Others Set to Challenge North Carolina’s Women’s Right to Know Act

By Dave Andrusko

Barbara Holt, President, North Carolina Right to Life

WRAL News is reporting today that a half-dozen pro-abortion groups, including Planned Parenthood, will challenge North Carolina’s recently passed Women’s Right to Know Act.

HB854 has already overcome one hurtle, a veto by Gov. Beverly Perdue. On consecutive days last week, first the House overrode Perdue’s veto of the informed consent law on a vote of 72-47, then the Senate, 29-20.

Under H854 women will be offered a booklet compiled by the Department of Health and Human Services at least 24 hours prior to an abortion. Contained will be scientifically accurate information about risks, alternatives, and information on the development of the unborn child. In addition this informed consent bill also provides that an ultrasound image of the unborn child be displayed at least four hours prior to an abortion so that the mother might view the image.

When the veto was overcome by exactly the 3/5ths margin required, Barbara Holt, President of North Carolina Right to Life, commented, “At long last, North Carolina has taken the necessary steps to ensure that mothers receive the factual, non judgmental, and scientifically accurate information they need to make an informed decision about a procedure that means life or death for their unborn children.”  Holt added, “Many unborn children’s lives will be saved and their mothers will be spared much heartache when the law takes effect later this year.”

Pro-life House Majority Leader Paul Stam told WRAL he wasn’t surprised by the lawsuit. “If you read abortion case law, half of them are Planned Parenthood suing over something,” he said.

Sarah Preston, a spokeswoman with the ACLU, told WRAL, ”What the U.S. Supreme Court said is you can’t put substantial obstacles in the way of a woman trying to access her right to an abortion. Our position is this creates too many burdens.”

Preston went on to say that the information to be provided to the woman is “clearly biased. Most is non-medical, and it doesn’t respond to the woman’s medical need. This goes above what the Supreme Court has in the past said is acceptable.” They were particularly upset by the ultrasound requirement.

But Mary Spaulding Balch, director of the National Right to Life Department of State Legislation, calmly rebutted all of the specific allegations.

“They simply return to the same rhetoric, even though these kinds of laws have been in place in many states for years,” Balch said. “And it’s not like these laws have been untested. Pro-abortionists have taken them to court—and lost!”

Balch said Planned Parenthood and its allies “write their objections out ahead of time and just plug them into their briefs when a law is passed. The North Carolina law specifically says the information offered to pregnant women ‘shall be objective, nonjudgmental, and designed to convey only accurate scientific information about the unborn child at the various gestational ages.’”

Balch chuckled when reminded that the ACLU’s Preston was particularly upset by the ultrasound requirement.

“Of course they would be afraid of this provision,” she said. “It will provide the mother a chance to see her unborn child in real-time—and Planned Parenthood is terrified that she will choose life and they will lose a sale.”

WRAL reported that Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina, Planned Parenthood Health Systems Inc., ACLU, Center for Reproductive Rights, and NARAL Pro-Choice America will be strategizing today over the lawsuit.

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