GREENSBORO: Case Involving NC’s Abortion Ultrasounds to Be Heard in Greensboro
Lawyers will be in federal court on Friday to argue for and against a 2011 North Carolina law that requires physicians to perform an ultrasound four hours before providing an abortion and to place the screen in the woman’s view while describing the images in detail.
U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles will hear arguments in a federal courtroom in Greensboro.
Key provisions of the law have not gone into effect while under challenge by women’s health-care providers and civil-liberties advocates. Eagles issued a preliminary injunction in October 2011.
The law, adopted by the North Carolina General Assembly despite a veto by the governor at the time, Bev Perdue, would allow a woman to “avert her eyes” from the ultrasound screen and to “refuse to hear” the health care provider’s description of the images.
But the law does not provide an option for the abortion provider to forgo offering such information if the woman objects.
The provider would also be required to offer the woman the opportunity to hear the “fetal heart tone.”
There are no exceptions provided for women who have been victims of rape; a woman whose doctor determines that the woman would suffer serious, long-lasting health problems if she carried the pregnancy to term; or a woman whose doctor determines that the fetus has severe abnormalities that would cause fetal death or extreme disability.