There are few things that more surely divide Americans than the issue of abortion, but on one thing we should all be able to unite: It is shameful that each year in this country about 1.3 million fetuses are aborted.
That isn’t an argument that a woman should not have the right to an abortion. Rather, it is the assertion that when there are 1.3 million “unwanted” pregnancies in the United States in 365 days, then something has gone terribly wrong in our society, which has become comfortably numb to this carnage.
On Tuesday of this week, Republicans in the state House, while overriding a veto of Gov. Bev Perdue, favored legislation that will drop the number of abortions in this state. It denies no woman in this state the right to abortion, but slows the process, forcing pause onto a woman considering ending a pregnancy, and making it less likely that she will later regret her decision to terminate the pregnancy.
The bill now goes to the Senate, where there are 31 Republicans and only 30 votes are needed for the override, meaning the legislation is likely to become law.
The legislation requires a woman considering an abortion to have an ultrasound of the fetus, consider an offer to see the shape and hear a heartbeat in her uterus, receive state-mandated counseling, and wait 24 hours before the procedure could be performed. The woman would also receive information about the development of the fetus, medical risks of having an abortion and giving birth, and the availability of abortion alternatives.
Opponents, including Perdue, say the legislation is no more than the government stepping inside a medical clinic to join a conversation between a physician and a pregnant woman. Proponents say the legislation is simply about providing additional information, and making abortions safer.
Regardless of your position on abortion, this legislation, should it become law, will mean fewer of them in North Carolina.
And that’s a good thing. Anyone who believes otherwise would be the one with an extreme position.