On Jan. 1, a new law went into effect in North Carolina that requires doctors to send certain ultrasounds to the DHHS for review. Rather than a “common-sense” law, this regulation suggests the state thinks women and their doctors lie about abortion.
Prior to the legalization of abortion in 1973, some states required women to present their case for an abortion to a panel of physicians, who then made the decision. This 2016 law requiring additional third-party scrutiny of a decision already made by a woman, in conjunction with her physician, recalls those days.
As new restrictions are put into place in North Carolina, it seems women are again being forced to traverse a complicated and often dangerous route if they make the decision to terminate a pregnancy. These restrictions are typically couched in language about “helping” women.
But as laws shown to have a positive effect on women and families – raising the minimum wage, increasing access to quality child care, expanding Medicaid, reinstating the state Earned Income Tax Credit and mandating family-friendly policies like paid sick days and family leave – are left to wither in the NCGA, it doesn’t seem that helping women is its top priority.
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NC Women United