North Carolina Extends Abortion Waiting Period to 72 Hours
The North Carolina House of Representatives decided today that a woman will have to wait for three days for the procedure after consulting her doctor about an abortion. The bill was approved by 74-45 in the Republican-dominating House. The legislation now has to pass the state Senate, also controlled by the Republicans. The bill extends the waiting period from 24 to 72 hours. And finally, Governor Pat McCrory would have to sign the bill to introduce it.
If the bill passes, North Carolina would join states such as Utah, South Dakota and Missouri which oblige pregnant women wanting an abortion to wait for three days before the procedure can be done. In total, there are 24 states in the U.S. which require a 24-hour waiting period.
According to the state Representative Jacqueline Schaffer, the bill would give women the opportunity to think about their decision and make an informed choice. "The poorest decisions that we make are the ones we make under pressure or compulsively," Schaffer said.
Critics of the legislation say the bill aims at intimidating women and delays their decision even though they already made up their minds. "This is not about respecting or supporting women," said Democratic state Representative Tricia Cotham. "It's about creating barriers that unfairly harm especially women of very limited financial means," she added.