A bill that would put more restrictions on abortion was introduced in the N.C. House Wednesday by a group of Republicans that includes a Charlotte lawmaker.
The bill would, among other things:
▪ Increase the waiting time required to get an abortion.
▪ Bar physicians other than obstetricians or gynecologists from performing abortions.
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▪ Prohibit medical schools at UNC Chapel Hill or East Carolina University from offering abortions.
“The politicians supporting this bill completely disregard the complex decisions women and their families face every day,” said Melissa Reed, a vice president of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic. “It is shameful that North Carolina legislators continue to sacrifice women’s health in their ideological attempts to take this state backwards.”
Among the bill’s four sponsors is GOP Rep. Jacqueline Shaffer of Charlotte.
“What we’re trying to do … is really focusing on the health decisions of the women making these decisions,” she told reporters.
The bill would require physicians to inform women about abortion alternatives at least 72 hours before a procedure, instead of the current 24.
Neither of the two state medical schools could allow an employee to perform or supervise an abortion. And no state facility could be used for an abortion unless the life of the mother was at stake or the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest.
Shaffer said 400 abortions were performed at the hospitals last year. “That’s still taxpayer-funded abortions,” she said.
Supporters praised the measure.
“When a woman makes the unfortunate choice to have an abortion in our state, she deserves the best care possible,” said Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the North Carolina Values Coalition.
“(The bill) introduces necessary life-saving reforms by increasing the amount of time women have to decide to have an abortion, strengthening annual clinic reporting requirements and closing a loophole that has allowed taxpayer dollars to fund abortions in our state-owned hospitals.”