North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue [official website] vetoed [press release] legislation [HB 854 materials] Monday that would have required a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion [JURIST news archive]. The "Woman's Right to Know Act" would also have required women seeking an abortion to view an ultrasound of the fetus prior to the procedure. Supporters argued that the bill was necessary in order for women to be fully informed about their decision, but Perdue disagreed, calling it "a dangerous intrusion into the confidential relationship that exists between women and their doctors." Vetoing the legislation, Perdue issued the following statement:
The bill contains provisions that are the most extreme in the nation in terms of interfering with that relationship. Physicians must be free to advise and treat their patients based on their medical knowledge and expertise and not have their advice overridden by elected officials seeking to impose their own ideological agenda on others.The legislation passed the House 71-48 and the Senate 29-20. Republican leaders have indicated that they may try to obtain the three-fifths majority necessary to override the governor's veto [Charlotte Observer report].
Several other state legislatures have acted recently to limit abortion rights. Both Texas and Florida [JURIST reports] have recently passed bills requiring ultrasounds before abortions. Earlier this month, the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit challenging the Texas law [JURIST report]. In March, South Dakota passed a law requiring a three-day waiting period [JURIST report] before an abortionthe longest waiting period in the country. That law is also facing a court challenge [JURIST report]. Multiple states have acted to ban abortions after 20 weeks, when some studies suggest a fetus can begin feeling pain, including Missouri, Indiana, Alabama, Ohio, Oklahoma, Kansas and Idaho [JURIST reports].