Campaigning in 2012, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory vowed he would sign no new abortion restrictions. A few months later, he signed several. On Wednesday, the North Carolina legislature gave him a chance to reflect on that promise again, when the state House passed a law that would triple the waiting time between required counseling and visits to an abortion clinic. The vote was 71-43. The North Carolina Senate approved the measure earlier in the week.
North Carolina would be the fourth state with a three-day waiting period, after Missouri (whose legislature overrode the governor’s veto), Utah and South Dakota. Oklahoma’s similar law will take effect later this year. The longer wait time is purportedly for the woman to think over the decision, but it also functions to make the procedure more complicated to schedule, and more expensive.
The South Dakota version of the law was briefly challenged in court by Planned Parenthood, which dropped its suit out of an assumption it would lose at the conservative 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.
North Carolina has asked the Supreme Court to rule on a different abortion restriction, one requiring abortion patients to look at an ultrasound and doctors to describe it before an abortion. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals said that law violated the First Amendment. The highest court hasn’t yet said whether it will take the case.