According to the Guttmacher Institute, abortion is one of the safest surgical procedures for women in the United States. Currently in the State of North Carolina, there is a 24-hour waiting period before a woman can opt to have the procedure. GOP Representative, Pat McElrath, has introduced a bill that would extend that waiting period to 72 hours. Additionally, she would like to ensure that no other medical professional except a gynecologist be able to perform the procedure.
She says that tax payers have made it “loud and clear” that they don’t want state funds being used for abortion in any way, including medical training at state universities. WRAL reports:
UNC Hospitals and the School of Medicine do not use any state funds to perform pregnancy termination or abortion procedures, according to Jennifer James, a spokeswoman for the university-run health care system.
McElrath explained that the bill was not to hinder women from being able to obtain contraception and abortions, but rather that they receive “competent” care. She elaborates further on her reasoning for blocking the education piece by saying:
There are opportunities for doctors to learn this. Abortion physicians learn from all kinds of training – spontaneous abortions or miscarriages. Sometimes, you learn how to act in an emergency situation. There are other options.
Jennifer James explains that medical students are required to have access to firsthand experience with induced abortions in order for them to satisfy their residency education, acknowledging that this is the only way they can be prepared for the management of complications, however infrequent they might be.
What Representative McElrath doesn’t discuss is:
- North Carolina is ranked in the top 10 states of citizens experiencing food shortages.
- Roughly 1 in 6 North Carolinians live below the poverty level.
- More than 1 in 4 (26.7 percent) children in the state of North Carolina are lacking food on a regular basis.
- SNAP (a federal program) pays approximately $146 per person per month for North Carolina residents.
- The State of North Carolina has mishandled the SNAP program so badly that the Federal government has threatened to pull funding.
- 81 percent of North Carolina households receiving food assistance have no idea where their next meal is coming from.
- 61 percent have been forced to choose between food or housing.
- 75 percent have had to choose between food or heating.
- 73 percent have had to choose between food or healthcare.
As of November 1, 2014, health plans that are offered in North Carolina’s State Health Exchange under the Affordable Care Act, as well as policies for public employees and any public funding of abortions, are only in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.
It’s unclear how this bill will benefit the people of North Carolina, especially since the State House Speaker has said that he and other state leaders feel their focus should be on jobs and developing the economy.
We are multi-taskers here in the General Assembly. I am absolutely an advocate for jobs, but we can do lots of the things. And actually, when we can have a few more little taxpayers born, why not?
WATCH her speak about the bill here:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gTSiyU752s?feature=player_embedded]
Featured image: via North Carolina Food Banks