Senate Overrides Abortion Bill Veto
Special Report - July 29, 2011
In a historic vote on July 28, the North Carolina Senate joined the House in voting to override the Governor’s veto of HB 854Abortion-Woman’s Right to Know, a measure that has been a key legislative goal for pro-leaders and lawmakers in the state for over a decade. The vote marked the legislature’s fourth successful veto override in less than a week. As we previously reported, the House held their vote to override the Governor’s veto of HB 854 on July 26 with a vote of 72-47.
The motion to override the veto in the Senate involved more than an hour of debate on the floor on Thursday, with the measure eventually passing by a three-fifths margin of 29-19. While the Senate normally requires 30 votes for a three-fifths margin, the margin was reduced because two Senators, Sen. Richard Stevens (R-Wake) and Sen. Stan Bingham (R-Davidson), were absent. Sen. Warren Daniel (R-Burke), who introduced a companion bill in the Senate, managed HB 854 on the Senate floor. He pointed out that there is a one-year waiting period for a divorce in North Carolina, and a three-day period (72 hours) in which consumers could change their minds about certain purchases, and said 24 hours was not too much to ask when a human life was at stake.
With successful override votes in each chamber, HB 854 will take effect in 90 days, or on October 26th, 2011. Sponsored by Rep. Ruth Samuelson (R-Mecklenburg) and Rep. Pat McElraft (R-Carteret), the measure requires that women be provided with the following information at least 24 hours before receiving an abortion:
- The name of the physician performing the abortion.
- Information about the medical risks associated with the having an abortion, including psychological risks, as well as the risks associated with carrying a pregnancy to term.
- The probable gestational age of the unborn child.
- Information about the opportunity to view an ultrasound and hear the heart beat of her child.
- Information regarding the malpractice liability insurance of the abortionist.
- The name and location of the hospital (located within 30 miles) that offers obstetrical or gynecological care where the abortionist has clinical privileges, should hospitalization be necessary.
- Information about the social and financial resources available to the woman, should she choose to carry her unborn child to term.
To ensure that women are provided with this information, HB 854 requires a woman’s signature to certify that she received it. The bill also includes a provision that an ultrasound be performed at least four hours before an abortion, requiring a physician or qualified technician to describe and explain the image. The law requires that the woman be offered the opportunity to view the ultrasound, which she is able to decline.
In related news, the General Assembly successfully voted to override four of the Governor’s vetoes of five other pieces of legislation (in addition to HB 854):
Three other vetoed bills, SB 709Energy Jobs Act; SB 727No Dues Checkoff for School Employees; and HB 351Restore Confidence in Government, were not overridden this week. The House of Representatives attempted to override the Governor’s veto of HB 351, also known as the “Voter ID bill” on Tuesday, but the effort failed by a vote of 67-51, short of the needed three-fifths supermajority. Because of a procedural move, all of those measures, including HB 351, will still be eligible for reconsideration at a later date, either during the next special session to be held in September or at the beginning of the short session next May.
House Overrides Informed Consent Veto - July 27, 2011
Governor Vetoes Informed Consent - June 28, 2011
Standing for Life as Session Ends- June 18, 2011
Victory for Life in NC House - June 9, 2011
Informed Consent Bill Heads to Floor- May 20, 2011
House Committee Passes Pro-Life Bill- May 12, 2011
Bill Emphasizes Woman's Right to Know - April 8, 2011
Informed Consent -FNC- April, 2011
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