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Misinformation vs the facts: The Care for Women, Children and Families Act



All across the web there have been inaccuracies spread about the “Care for Women, Children and Families Act” passed in North Carolina in May of 2023. Unfortunately, it was a highly contested Bill the Governor vetoed, ironically on Mother’s Day weekend. However, just weeks earlier, former Democrat Rep. Tricia Cotham had crossed the floor, joining the Republican party. With her vote, both Senate and House Republicans had the majority they needed to overturn the veto. Senate Bill 20 became law on May 16, 2023.


Here are just a few of the falsehoods promoted publicly by officials:


FALSE CLAIM #1: In a Twitter post, Vice President Kamala Harris stated: “Republican elected officials in North Carolina have passed an extreme abortion ban that would interfere with critical medical care and put women’s health and lives at risk.”


FACT: SB20 allows abortion to 12 weeks in North Carolina. That means that abortions are allowed until the second trimester of pregnancy. A huge majority of Americans do not favor second and third trimester abortions, so this is not an extreme measure. And, over 90% of abortions take place before 12 weeks, so in reality, SB20 really does very little to curb abortion in North Carolina.


There is nothing what-so-ever in the bill that precludes medical treatment for ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage, and the procedures themselves have not been altered, so there is no credibility in the claim that the law “interferes with critical medical care.”

In fact, the law allows abortion post 12 weeks and up to 20 weeks for rape and incest, and it allows abortion up to 24 weeks for fatal fetal anomalies.


WHAT’S ACTUALLY WRITTEN IN THE ACT:

90-21.81B. When abortion is lawful: (1) When a qualified physician determines there exists a medical emergency. (2) During the first 12 weeks of a woman's pregnancy, (3) After the twelfth week and through the twentieth week of a woman's pregnancy, when the procedure is performed by a qualified physician in a suitable facility in accordance with G.S. 90-21.82A when the woman's pregnancy is a result of rape or incest, (4) During the first 24 weeks of a woman's pregnancy, if a qualified physician determines there exists a life-limiting anomaly in accordance with this Article.


FALSE CLAIM #2: In a CNN interview, Governor Roy Cooper at 1:10 time mark states: the bill “has oppressive, burdensome requirements of clinics and it’s going to cause most of the clinics to close their doors.”


FACT: The Bill requires standard health inspections that are consistent with those required of any ambulatory surgical center for the health and well-being of the patients they serve.


There is a standard “licensure requirement”, a “fair billing and collections practices” for abortion clinics and a requirement that facilities be “suitable for abortion,” requiring that procedures post 12 weeks be done in a hospital. The requirement that post 12 week abortions be done in a hospital was subsequently enjoined by U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles in her ruling in late September.


These standard requirements are especially necessary because there have been many documented cases of women suffering serious complications including death from abortion. There are many documented cases across the nation of women taken by ambulance from abortion facilities to emergency centers. Just this year, the Planned Parenthood in Chapel Hill, NC had two such incidents in the span of one week.

Clinics that give chemical or “medical” abortions are exempt from these requirements, however for patients’ safety, these clinics must comply with state law on the administration of the abortion drugs and inform the patients of their risks. These are to be done in person, because understandably, there have been serious issues around “mail-ordered” abortion drugs.


To date, no abortion clinics have closed their doors because of this legislation.

WHAT’S ACTUALLY WRITTEN IN THE ACT: “Clinic Inspection. – The Department of Health and Human Services shall annually inspect any clinic, including ambulatory surgical facilities and any suitable facility under G.S. 90-21.82A, where abortions are performed.”


It’s important to note that there have been instances where the inspections have not been carried out according to the law. The Department of Health and Human Services has been lax in enforcing the regulation to inspect abortion clinics annually, which puts women’s health at risk.


FALSE CLAIM #3: In a roundtable discussion with physicians and community partners, Governor Roy Cooper reported that SB20 would “require three in-person appointments days apart for anyone seeking a medical abortion, which doctors have called ‘medically unjustified and unnecessary,’ and make care harder to access for anyone who can’t take off work, afford to travel, stay in a hotel or get extra child care.”


FACT:

The Bill requires one visit 72 hours prior to the actual abortion. The second visit is the abortion itself. This requirement has been in place since 2015, so it is actually not a new requirement.

It makes sense that we would want to give the woman proper informed consent and some time to consider her options before she makes a life-altering decision that could have profound effects on her entire future.


This has not altered access to abortion, since no clinics have been shuttered across the State, and over 90% of abortions take place before 12 weeks.


Also, to be noted is that women are encouraged to attend an in-person follow-up visit after a chemical abortion where she would have ingested drugs to kill and expel the fetus. The reasons for the follow-up as stated in the Act are: “to confirm that the pregnancy is completely terminated and to assess the degree of bleeding and other complications.” We know that there can be terrible complications with these “at-home abortions” where parts of the fetus are retained and where bleeding has been excessive. Although encouraged, this follow-up is not mandated.


Even the FDA recommends that there be a follow-up after a chemical abortion.

Further to this, the Bill requires that the mother have full knowledge of the procedure, something that many post-abortive women have claimed was not provided to them. It also requires their full and voluntary consent, another very serious issue that has been raised by post-abortive women who claim that there was coercion involved in their decision to abort.


WHAT’S ACTUALLY WRITTEN IN THE ACT: Section 90-21.83A on “Informed consent to medical abortion” gives a comprehensive list of what is needed for full and voluntary consent: “At least 72 hours prior to the medical abortion, a qualified physician or qualified professional has orally informed the woman, in person, of the information contained in the consent form.”

The consent form includes things like the name of the physician who will be performing the abortion, the age of gestation of the child, the risks of carrying a child to term, and the risks associated with chemical or surgical abortion. Also included in the consent form is “The location of the hospital that offers obstetrical or gynecological care located within 30 miles of the location where the medical abortion is performed or induced and at which the physician performing or inducing the medical abortion has clinical privileges.” Makes sense.


Also included in the information that is given to a woman prior to obtaining her abortion is the following:


  1. That medical assistance benefits may be available for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care.

  2. That public assistance programs under Chapter 108A of the General Statutes may or may not be available as benefits under Federal and State assistance programs.

  3. That the father is liable to assist in the support of the child, even if the father has offered to pay for the abortion.

  4. That the woman has other alternatives to abortion, including keeping the baby or placing the baby for adoption.

And if that hasn’t empowered women enough, the Act goes even further to ensure that she has legal standing in the event that her abortion is botched or if she felt coerced or misled prior to her abortion.

The Bill states, “That the woman has a private right of action to sue the qualified physician under the laws of this State if she feels she has been coerced or misled prior to obtaining an abortion, and how to access State resources regarding her legal right to obtain relief.”


Other parts of the Bill that employ common sense and respect for the common good include the “Medical Personnel Objection” where “No physician, nurse, or any other health care provider who shall state an objection to abortion on moral, ethical, or religious grounds shall be required to perform or participate in medical procedures which result in an abortion.”

The Bill also does not allow eugenic abortions for reasons such as race or ethnic make-up of the child, abortion for reasons of gender (sex-selection abortion) and abortion because of Down Syndrome.


A recent judicial decision by US District Court Judge Catherine Eagles placed an injunction on Section 90-21.83B (7) that required documented ultrasound evidence of pregnancy prior to a doctor dispensing the abortion pill. In the same decision she also halted the requirement that abortions post 12 weeks be performed in a hospital.


It should be noted the FDA recommends that ultrasound be used to determine whether the pregnancy is ectopic because it is a serious health risk when prescribing the abortion pill. If an ultrasound is not done, then how do abortionists determine whether there is an ectopic pregnancy?

The requirement that a woman has the opportunity to see her living baby before she makes the decision to abort under section 90-21.85, “Display of real-time view requirement” remains in place. The Bill states that “Notwithstanding G.S. 14-45.1, except in the case of a medical emergency, in order for the woman to make an informed decision, at least four hours before a woman having any part of an abortion performed or induced,” the physician “perform an obstetric real-time view of the unborn child on the pregnant woman” giving the presence, location, and dimensions of the unborn child.


Women are not forced to view the ultra-sound, or hear the explanation, but it must be made available to them.

This section lays bare the reality of abortion, and the nature of its victim, a sore point that the abortion industry will do anything to hide.

If the abortion industry cared about women, as they claim, they would not baulk at providing adequate informed consent, especially ultrasound imaging. Studies show that 70% of women who see their babies and hear the heart beat, do not proceed with the abortion, and this hurts the industry's bottom line.


Overall, this Bill does not significantly limit surgical or medical abortions. It has improved informed consent and in theory made for greater knowledge of options and procedures available to women, but it is not likely that the abortionist’s bottom line will be impacted, and sadly, we will continue to see more than 30,000 abortions performed annually in the State of North Carolina. That number may actually increase as most of the surrounding southern states have more stringent protections for the lives of the unborn. REMEBER, IN EVERY ABORTION, A BABY DIES.


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