A June 24 column I wrote for Townhall.com highlighted the grassroots effort to defund Planned Parenthood one state at a time. At that time, I covered the fact that North Carolina’s legislation had overridden Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto and passed a bill that cut funding to Planned Parenthood by approximately $434,000 annually.
And while that was great news, on July 28, the legislature overrode another veto to enact even more encouraging measures for defenders of life throughout the country: an informed consent law which requires women “seeking an abortion in North Carolina…to wait 24 hours and be presented with an ultrasound image of the fetus” before having the procedure performed.
The law also requires that the “fetus” – read baby – be described to the woman and that she be offered the opportunity to hear the child’s heartbeat before stopping it.
For the record, included in the provision is a caveat that a woman seeking an abortion doesn’t have to look at the ultrasound pictures of her baby nor listen to his/her heartbeat.
Nevertheless, this is a giant step forward for those who’ve chosen to defend life rather than death.
With these provisions in place, North Carolina becomes the 26th state to “require pre-abortion counseling that goes beyond basic medical ‘informed consent.’” And it is the “10th state to include the additional requirement of an ultrasound,” according to Elizabeth Nash, public policy associate with the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute in Washington.
This is right in line with a recent federal court decision in Indiana, which held that Indiana could require that mothers seeking abortion be told that “human physical life” begins at conception and suggested that it could also require that women be told that the baby they carry can feel pain during an abortion beginning in the second trimester. (Estimates of the age at which babies in utero can feel pain have been lowered from shortly after birth – a common belief around the time of Roe v. Wade in the early 1970s – to more recent, research-based conclusions of 20 weeks or even as early as 16 weeks.)
Taken together, the news coming out of these states is not just refreshing, it may also lead to a lessening of the number of children who will be killed in abortion mills in the coming months and years. And for defenders of life, it doesn’t get much better than that.