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Op-Ed Lambasts N.C. Governor for Breaking Campaign Promise on Abortion Rights

January 7, 2016 — Gov. Pat McCrory (R) again violated his campaign promise on abortion rights and took "an unprecedented step toward stockpiling women's private health information for no justifiable reason" when his administration on Jan. 1 began collecting ultrasound images from women seeking abortion care, writes Melissa Reed, executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic, in a Charlotte Observer opinion piece.

Reed writes about a new state law (SL 2015-62) that, among several other provisions, imposes a 72-hour mandatory delay before abortion and requires physicians to "submit ultrasound images from women seeking care after a certain gestational age to the State Center for Health Statistics." She adds, "In signing this invasive bill, the governor proved once again that he has no qualms about breaking his 2012 campaign promise to veto any new restrictions on safe and legal abortion."

According to Reed, the provisions are "medically unnecessary and do nothing but undermine a woman's right to make private, deeply personal health decisions for herself." Further, Reed notes that requirements to remove a woman's name from ultrasound images do not "adequately safeguard the patient's confidentiality," and the images themselves "must be turned over to the state without requiring a woman's consent or even her knowledge."

Reed cites several other actions McCrory has taken against abortion rights, including signing "measures that strip municipal, county, and state employees of health coverage that includes abortion while also prohibiting abortion coverage in plans sold through the Affordable Care Act [PL 111-148] marketplace."

Noting PPVSA's commitment "to ensuring that N.C. voters understand the extent of McCrory's broken promise," Reed concludes, "It's time to stop politically driven, medically unnecessary legislation. It's time to hold our elected officials accountable when they put politics before women's health" (Reed, Charlotte Observer, 1/4).