Pro-abortion groups file suit against North Carolina “Woman’s Right to Know” law

Barbara Holt, President, North Carolina Right to Life

WASHINGTON –-Pro-abortion advocates in North Carolina (including two Planned Parenthood affiliates) today filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina seeking to block the North Carolina “Woman’s Right to Know” law from going into effect.  The law, which was enacted in July over Governor Beverly Perdue’s veto, requires that mothers seeking abortion be given information about the abortion and that a real-time ultrasound image of her unborn child be displayed so that she may view the image before the abortion can be performed.

“What are abortion advocates afraid of?,” asked Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D., director of state legislation for the National Right to Life Committee.  “Probably that when mothers see the recognizable images of their unborn children as they kick and move inside the womb, with beating hearts, abortionists will lose business.”

“When a mother’s decision involves the life or death of her unborn child, she needs more, not less information. North Carolina’s Woman’s Right to Know law ensures she gets the scientific facts about her unborn child when deciding whether or not to have an abortion,” said Barbara Holt, President of North Carolina Right to Life. “Mothers, not doctors, should be the ones deciding whether to view the ultrasound image and to hear the heart tone of  their unborn children.”

Enacted by a bi-partisan override of Governor Perdue’s veto, the informed consent law provides that a booklet containing scientifically accurate information about risks, alternatives, and information on the development of the unborn child, compiled by the Department of Health and Human Services, 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 law 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 it.

Balch added, “As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in Gonzales v. Carhart in 2007, ‘Whether to have an abortion requires a difficult and painful moral decision….The State has an interest in ensuring so grave a choice is well informed. It is self-evident that a mother who comes to regret her choice to abort must struggle with grief more anguished and sorrow more profound when she learns, only after the event, what she once did not know…’”

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