Yesterday, the NC Senate voted 29 to 19 to override the Governor's veto of HB 854, the incredibly inaccurately named "Woman's Right to Know." The bill would be more accurately called "Women Know Nothing" as that is the message it clearly sends to North Carolina women. The ACLU-NC strongly opposed this bill and urged Governor Perdue to veto it. When she did, herculean efforts were made to sustain her veto. Unfortunately, the override of the veto succeeded in the House because Representative James Crawford, a Democrat from Granville County, switched his vote, voting in favor of the override having voted against the bill in June.
Yesterday, Senator Stan Bingham, a Republican from Davidson County, decided to leave the building rather than vote on the bill, giving the Republicans the three-fifths majority they needed to override the veto. Senator Bingham voted against the bill in June and spoke out publicly about the bill. If he had voted "no" again yesterday, the override vote would have failed and the bill would not become law. The politics of this situation suggests that Senator Bingham was threatened with sanctions within the Republican Party if he voted against the bill so he choose to leave the building instead. Because Representative Crawford and Senator Bingham decided not to stand up and do what their earlier votes indicate they knew was right, women in North Carolina will be subjected to a government-imposed 24 hour waiting period, two pages of one-size-fits-all biased “counseling” written by politicians, not doctors, and an additional ultrasound that has to be placed in view of the woman and described in detail by the doctor before she may obtain an abortion.
The new law applies regardless of the circumstances of the woman and removes all discretion from the doctor to respond to her patient’s specific needs. This is an insult to the women of North Carolina.