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N.C. Governor Signs 72-Hour Abortion Delay Bill

N.C. Governor Signs 72-Hour Abortion Delay Bill

June 9, 2015 — North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) last week signed a bill (HB 465) mandating a 72-hour delay before an abortion, except in cases of medical emergencies, AP/WCNC reports.

According to AP/WCNC, McCrory announced he signed the legislation on Friday via email (AP/WCNC, 6/5).

Bill Details

In addition to the mandatory delay, the North Carolina law will allow doctors to refuse to perform abortions if they have ethical, moral or religious objections to the procedure. It also will institute additional reporting requirements for providers.

Specifically, the law will require physicians to provide the state Department of Health and Human Services with information about abortions performed after the 16th week of pregnancy. Further, the bill will require additional documentation for abortions performed after 20 weeks' gestation to demonstrate that continuing the pregnancy would have threatened the woman's life or substantially impaired her health. The state prohibits abortion after 20 weeks in other circumstances.

The law also will require annual inspections of clinics and ambulatory surgical centers that perform abortions. Further, the legislation will mandate that no one under age 18 will be allowed to be employed by such providers.

The legislation was amended to change a requirement that abortion can only be performed by ob-gyns. Under the amendment, physicians with "sufficient training" in "miscarriage management" and abortion care will be allowed to perform the procedure.

Further, the law includes provisions that increase restrictions on sex offenders and add protections for survivors of domestic violence. It also includes provisions that alter the state's definition of statutory rape to make it easier for individuals to collect payments for child support (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/4).