Prior to this legislative session, North Carolina has been fairly hands off when it comes to limiting women’s access to abortion and reproductive health. The lack of available providers had in the past been considered enough of a roadblock for abortion access, and additional legislation was never much of a priority.
But 2011 brought an intense focus on eliminating reproductive health access to all women across the country, as Republicans took their new gains in both congress and state legislatures as a mandate to enact their own anti-women gameplan.
Now, simply not having a lot of providers isn’t good enough. Anti-abortion legislators have pushed bans on Planned Parenthood funds, in some cases making up stories about the provider in an attempt to woo other lawmakers to vote with them and demonize the group, and push for a mandatory ultrasound bill for all women seeking abortions.
The Planned Parenthood ban passed, and despite a veto from Governor Bev Perdue, was overridden in the legislature and will go on to become law.
Now, will the same happen to the mandatory ultrasound law and 24 hour waiting period also passed by the state legislature? Both bills exist for the same reason — to force women seeking abortions to have to make multiple appointments, lengthening the time that they have to spend away from families, away from jobs, spend in other towns, or drive their car long distances back and forth in order to obtain what is still a legal procedure.
Ultrasound bills and waiting periods aren’t about helping women learn more about their pregnancies or assist them in their decisions. They’ve thought long and hard and already made their decisions. They are about making the process as long and as costly as possible as a way of punishing women for not choosing to carry to term as the anti-choice want them to.
Tell Governor Perdue that North Carolina needs to trust women and believe in their decisions, and that women already struggling don’t need further cost or access barriers to obtaining an abortion. The legislature may again override your veto, but you can still prove that you trust women.
photo credit: photo from wikimedia commons