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"A Woman’s Right to Know Act" now law in North Carolina

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October 26, 2011

North Carolina

RALEIGH, North Carolina: Following a preliminary injunction against part of the law, North Carolina's controversial "A Woman’s Right to Know Act" went into effect today.[1]

Last month a coalition of groups filed suit against the law, arguing it is a violation of constitutionally protected free speech rights. Gov. Bev Perdue (D) vetoed the legislation in June, but saw that veto overridden by the Legislature during a special redistricting session held in July.

As written the law requires doctors to provide state-mandated counseling before a procedure, as well as a 24 hour waiting period before receiving an abortion. Counseling provided by the physician is to include information about the likely stage of development of the fetus, the medical risks of having an abortion and abortion alternatives. It also requires an ultrasound exam, with the image shown to the patient.

The temporary injunction, ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Eagles, ruled the ultrasound section of the law most likely violates patients' First Amendment rights, while upholding the 24 hour waiting period. Eagles is scheduled to hear further arguments in the case on December 5.[2]


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