In one of the most heated debates of the legislative session, members of a House Judiciary committee passed the so-called “Woman’s Right to Know Act” Wednesday.
House Bill 854 would require a 24-hour waiting period for every woman who has chosen to have an abortion and would stipulate an ultrasound be done at least four hours before the procedure.
House Majority Leader Rep. Paul Stam said the bill would bring North Carolina in line with 24 other states that require counseling before an abortion.
But Democrats labeled the bill “unfair,” “paternalistic and insulting” and a “micromanaging” of women’s reproductive rights.
Alamance County Rep. Alice Bordsen pointed out there is no other medical procedure – not cancer treatments, not end-of-life decisions, nor care for the elderly – that involves the state intervening in this way.
“From a quick read of this bill, one could draw one of two conclusions, that the bill sponsors believe that women are really stupid, and two, that women lack moral compass.”
Rep. Ruth Samuelson, one of the bill sponsors, took exception to those remarks and reminded legislators her bill was intended to make sure women have the information they need before making “a very serious decision.”
H 854 passed on a roll call vote of 9-5 and now heads to the House floor. To hear more of Wednesday’s debate, click below: