Another Justified Veto by Governor
Conservative Republicans used to be the ones always worried about Big Brother government meddling in people’s personal lives.
We were surprised, then (or maybe not), when the newly dominant GOP majority in the North Carolina General Assembly passed legislation requiring that government thrust its cold and clammy hands into the most personal decision a woman can make: whether to have a baby.
Good for Gov. Beverly Perdue for vetoing this offensive piece of legislation, which represents nothing but a blatant and ham-handed — and anything but conservative — attempt to impose one faction’s political philosophy on everybody else.
Specifically, the measure (thoughtfully titled “the Woman’s Right to Know Act”) insultingly forces doctors to show any woman seeking an abortion an ultrasound of her fetus while describing the images in specific detail. The woman would also be required to wait for 24 hours after this state-prescribed medical lecture before going ahead with the medical procedure.
Plenty of Ironies
The ironies run pretty deep here. After all, how many times have we heard Republicans at tea party rallies here and elsewhere rail against “Obamacare” on the grounds that it supposedly represents an outrageous attempt to interpose government into what should be the sacred private relationship between an individual American and his or her physician?
That was then and there, apparently. This is now and here, so black suddenly becomes white and up becomes down.
Another striking irony: N.C. lawmakers also passed a bill cutting off state funding support to Planned Parenthood clinics. But that move threatens to curtail pregnancy prevention programs and family planning counseling, especially to the poor — thus depriving them of services that can help reduce the need for abortions in the first place.
The bill sets forth in detail a sort of script that physicians must follow in talking with a patient before she can be considered sufficiently informed to make up her own mind — with no exceptions made even in cases of forcible rape These provisions treat the doctor like a robot and the patient like a child, coming across as downright creepy.
Terminating a pregnancy is a momentous and painful decision that should never be undertaken lightly and should be avoided whenever possible. But it is a decision that should be made by a woman and her doctor, and government needs to butt out.
Perdue, in inking up her veto stamp yet again (she has wielded it so many times lately that she must be suffering carpal tunnel syndrome by now), called the bill a “dangerous intrusion” into that confidential doctor-patient relationship. She added: “Physicians must be free to advise and treat their patients based on their medical knowledge and expertise and not have their advice overridden by elected officials seeking to impose their own ideological agenda on others.” Exactly.
Perdue has to know that the opposition will waste no time making political hay out of her action — which will no doubt include labeling her (ridiculously) as “pro-abortion.” A concerted effort will certainly be made to override her veto, and it may succeed. But at least she can rest in the knowledge that she did the right thing for the right reasons.
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