July 27, 2011 — The North Carolina House on Tuesday voted 72-47 to override Gov. Beverly Perdue's (D) veto of a bill (HB 854) that would require women to obtain an ultrasound and undergo mandatory counseling at least 24 hours prior to receiving abortion care, the AP/Raleigh News & Observer reports. The move sends the measure back to the Senate for consideration (Dalesio, AP/Raleigh News & Observer, 7/26).
Under the legislation, abortion would be prohibited unless a woman receives state-specified information about the procedure, an ultrasound and a description of the ultrasound image from a provider. Although the woman would not have to watch the ultrasound screen or listen to the description, she would have to sign a document acknowledging that the description was provided, and the document would have to be kept on file for at least seven years.
Perdue said she vetoed the measure because she believes that physicians should be able to give patients their best advice without political intrusion (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/28).
The Senate now must approve the override by a three-fifths majority before the regulations would become law without Perdue's signature, meaning that if all 50 senators are present they would need 30 votes to approve an override. According to the AP/News & Observer, 29 of the Senate's 31 Republicans approved the measure during its initial vote, with one GOP senator opposed and one not present for the vote (AP/Raleigh News & Observer, 7/26).