More than two years after the passage of legislation directing the State to update its abortion clinic regulations, the N.C. Department of Health & Human Services has published its long-awaited final draft rules. Ultimately, the delay may have been beneficial, as the revised rules include a number of important measures that mirror directives in House Bill 465, the “Women and Children’s Protection Act of 2015,” which passed the N.C. General Assembly in June 2015.
“I’m very encouraged by the revised abortion clinic regulations recently released by DHHS,” said Rep. Jacqueline Shaffer (R-Mecklenburg), a primary sponsor and champion of House Bill 465. “In the spirit of the pro-life legislation we have worked on at the General Assembly in recent years, such as HB 465, these new rules will go far in ensuring the health and safety of women who choose to visit an abortion clinic in this State.”
Most notably, the revised regulations include provisions that:
In addition to the important changes outlined above, House Bill 465 extended the informed consent waiting period for abortion in North Carolina from 24 to 72 hours.
According to DHHS staff, the revised abortion clinic regulations are scheduled to go into effect on October 1, 2015.