Thursday, May 04, 2023

The Other Things the New Abortion Law Does


In addition to limiting when and why a person can choose to have an abortion -- banned after the first trimester, with some exceptions -- S20, which Gov. Cooper has promised to veto, also does this:

S20 mandates that the initial medical consultation (which sets in motion a 72-hour "waiting period") must occur in person, in a doctor's office, and not via phone, which has been previously allowed -- putting an extra burden on people coming from far away and on working people who can't easily get time-off from their jobs.

Forced ultrasounds are back! At least four hours before the procedure.

For medication abortions, S20 requires an in-person visit for the consultation and for the first dose of medication and also requires a follow-up appointment within seven and 14 days -- thus erasing the whole point of mifepristone. The bill also limits medication abortion to the first 10 weeks.

The bill also creates a $5,000 fine for any person or organization caught sending the abortion pill to someone directly through the mail.

The bill also places new licensing requirements on abortion clinics across the state, which are already heavily regulated. A representative for Planned Parenthood told lawmakers Wednesday that none of the organization’s clinics in North Carolina currently meet those requirements. Which, of course, was the point behind the new restrictions.

Judging from the interviews some of the Republican women lawmakers have given about how the bill came into its present form, those Republican women lawmakers expect to be praised for keeping a total, outright ban out of the bill, like many of the Republican men wanted. I see them as accessories before the fact, at best.

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