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NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina's Statement on the U.S. House's Passage of a 20-Week Abortion Ban
Ignoring the urgent natural disasters and tragedies facing the United States, Congress continued its unpopular attack on people’s ability to access a safe and legal medical procedure by introducing and passing a 20-week ban on abortions. By setting an arbitrary time limit for a medical procedure, this legislation prevents physicians from using their best judgment to provide optimal care for their patients.
"Time and time again, the courts have ruled that it is unconstitutional to arbitrarily ban abortion before viability. Bills like this are unpopular with the majority of Americans who respect the personal decisions patients make; and only serve to threaten patients’ health and well-being, block access to a legal and safe medical procedure, and prevent physicians from practicing their profession and fulfilling their responsibilities to their patients,” said Tara Romano, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina.
In North Carolina, abortions after the twentieth week of pregnancy have been prohibited for decades, with only narrow exceptions for medical emergencies. In 2016, the state enacted additional restrictions that further narrowed health exceptions to the 20-week ban (this law is currently being challenged in court). This medically unnecessary ban contains no exemptions for someone who has learned the fetus will not survive after birth, and it forces doctors to delay medical care until their patients face the immediate threat of death or major medical complications and injury. These kinds of restrictions go against the beliefs of 76% of North Carolinians, who believe reproductive health care decisions should be made by individuals in consultation with their doctors, not politicians.
"Bans on abortion access, such as this ban from the U.S. House of Representatives, have nothing to do with the health or safety of the patient. They serve no purpose other than inserting politics into private medial decisions, and placing even more obstacles in the way of people seeking an abortion," said Jina Dhillon, NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina Board Chair.