RALEIGH – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina is urging the North Carolina General Assembly to reject HB 465, a bill that would triple North Carolina’s mandatory waiting period for women seeking abortion care to 72 hours and prevent many qualified doctors, such as family practitioners, from providing abortion care to their patients. A new version of the bill was passed by the North Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee today and is expected to reach the Senate floor for a vote without delay. The North Carolina House would need to vote to concur with the Senate’s version before the bill is sent to the governor.
“This bill jeopardizes a woman’s health and restricts her care options by denying medical services when she and her doctor have decided they are necessary,” said Sarah Preston, acting Executive Director of the ACLU of North Carolina. “A woman is more than capable of taking the time she needs to make her own important and personal medical decisions without a forced 72-hour delay. The government should not use bullying tactics to interfere in a woman’s private medical decisions by creating unnecessary delays and preventing qualified doctors from performing a medically safe procedure. We call on the General Assembly to reject these harmful and unnecessary restrictions.”
Only four other states in the nation (Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Utah) have 72 hour waiting periods for abortion care. According to the Guttmacher Institute, abortion is an incredibly safe procedure with less than 0.05 percent of abortions resulting in complications requiring hospital care.