Tuesday, July 12, 2011

WRTK Summary

The NC General Assembly may soon attempt to override Governor Perdue's veto of the Woman's Right to Know Act (WRTK), HB 854. The GA needs only one additional vote in both the House and Senate. Basically, WRTK requires a 24 hour waiting period and the informed consent of a woman before “an abortion can be performed.”

Except in a medical emergency, the information that must be made available by phone or in person 24 hours in advance are:

-The name of the physician.
-Medical risks of abortion.
-Gestational age of the unborn child.
-Medical risks of carrying the child to term.
-Ultrasound images or sound of the heartbeat are available.
-If the physician has malpractice insurance.
-The location of the hospital within 30 miles that offers OB/GYN care and at which the physician has clinical privileges. If he does not, that must be made known.
-Medical assistance benefits for pre-natal care, childbirth, and neonatal care
-Public assistance benefits
-The father is liable for child support payments even if he offered to pay for abortion
-The woman has alternatives to abortion available, including adoption and keeping the baby.
-The woman has a right to view printed materials or information online that describe the unborn child and list agencies that provide alternatives to abortion.
-The woman has the right to withdraw her consent at any time before or during the abortion without the losing the right of future care and state or federal benefits.

The other significant requirement is that an ultrasound scan of the baby must be made at least four hours prior to abortion and the woman can look at the images and listen to the fetal heart tone as well as listen to a simultaneous description of the baby, if she wishes.

This is a link to the text of the ratified bill (HB 854): www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2011/Bills/House/PDF/H854v5.pdf

No comments: