When it comes to abortion, North Carolina is overall a bad place to be. Not only are they funding anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers they also have some of the most restrictive laws in the country. Though Governor Perdue tried to veto these restrictions the state congress overrode her and passed them anyway. The law includes provisions for mandatory ultrasounds which must be presented to the patient and a 24 hour waiting period to review information about risks associated with abortion as well as to review abortion alternatives.
The Center for Reproductive Rights filed suit against the law seeking to have the required viewing of an ultrasound blocked specifically. Judge Eagles allowed most of the law to go into effect, including the 24 hour mandatory waiting period. However she did block the ultrasound requirement and is quoted as stating that “have not articulated how the speech-and-display requirements address the stated concern in reducing compelled abortions, and none is immediately apparent” and also that the requirement is “likely to harm the psychological health of the very group the state purports to protect.”
A follow up hearing is currently scheduled for December 5th when the judge will hear more arguments about the case and determine if the block will stay in place or if the law will go into full effect at that time. As of October 26th the other portions of the law, such as the 24 hour waiting period went into effect.
Similar laws forcing women to view ultrasounds have been blocked in both Texas and Oklahoma. Forcing women to view ultrasounds serves no purpose other than to try to guilt women into not having an abortion. It is unlikely a woman will change her mind after viewing an ultrasound; most women have thought out their decision well before that point. She will however, likely feel judged for her decision and that is simply not ok. It is not ok to tell a woman or any person really, that they can’t have a safe and medical procedure. So kudos to Judge Eagle.