Committee Discusses Informed Consent Bill
Special Report - May 5, 2011
On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Subcommittee B considered House Bill 854Woman’s Right to Know, a bill that would ensure that women considering an abortion are provided with complete and accurate information about the procedure and their unborn child. Although similar legislation has been introduced for nearly two decades, it has never been considered by the North Carolina General Assembly. HB 854 is a comprehensive measure that, in addition to providing women with complete and accurate information related to pregnancy and abortion, also closes a loophole in the state’s existing parental consent law for minors seeking an abortion. For an in-depth analysis of all that the bill entails, see our previous story.
After hearing an explanation of the bill by the sponsors, Representatives Ruth Samuelson (RMecklenburg) and Pat McElraft (RCarteret), the committee opened the floor for public comment, and heard from individuals and organizations, both those in support of the legislation and those opposing the measure. Opponents of the bill included representatives from Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who argued that the bill would infringe upon a woman’s right to privacy and intrude on the relationship between women and their doctors. Supporters of the bill included North Carolina Right to Life, the Christian Action League, and the North Carolina Family Policy Council.
Sara Riggins, policy analyst for the North Carolina Family Policy Council, testified in support of the bill for the Council. “For far too long, North Carolina, under the banner of choice, has mistakenly allowed political considerations to trump the medical well-being of women,” Riggins told committee members. “This bill, by honestly acknowledging the medical realities of abortion, gives women the same protections as patients undergoing any other type of medical procedure, and while we recognize that this is a very personal issue and a very emotional issue, our stance on this bill is that uninformed consent is no consent at all.”
While HB 854 was heard only for the purposes of discussion, the measure will be back before the committee next week for further discussion and, most likely, a vote.
Bill Emphasizes Women's Right to Know - April 8, 2011
Informed Consent - FNC - Spring 2011
SC Governor Signs Pro-Life Bill - August 20, 2010
Court Upholds Informed Consent Statute - September 2, 2009
South Dakota Strengthens Informed Consent - July 28, 2008
Bill Would Uphold Life in NC- July 5, 2007
Parental Consent for Abortion- August 2002
The Importance of Informed Consent in Abortion Cases- July 2005
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