Bill Seeks to Limit Abortions in North Carolina

May 11, 2011

A legislative committee has approved a measure that seeks to limit abortions in the state. 

 House Bill 854 would require a woman seeking an abortion to wait 24 hours before undergoing the procedure. It would mandate counseling that would include information about the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the fetus. And it would require the medical professionals performing the abortion to give their patient an ultrasound at least four hours before the procedure.

The provider would be required not only to describe the fetus but also to give the patient the opportunity to hear the fetal heart beat. Supporters of the bill say it would help women make an informed decision, but opponents say its purpose is to limit women's choices. North Carolina is one of 16 states that don't require specialized counseling before an abortion. Half of those states require a waiting period before women can get the procedure.