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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Reproductive Rights

RALEIGH – The North Carolina House of Representatives today voted to triple the state’s mandatory waiting period for women seeking abortion care to 72 hours. House Bill 465 now goes to the Senate. If the bill becomes law, North Carolina would become the fourth state in the nation – along with Missouri, South Dakota, and Utah – to require a waiting period of 72 hours.

“Instead of respecting a woman’s private medical decisions, this shameful bill is based on the condescending notion that a woman can’t or won’t take the time she needs to consult with her doctor and make the best decision for her own circumstances,” said Sarah Preston, Policy Director for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina. “In medical situations, there is never a one-size-fits-all solution. The government has no business interfering in health care decisions made by a woman and her doctor and making what can be a difficult situation even more challenging.”

Studies have shown that abortion is one of the safest medical procedures available. According to a 2014 report from the Guttmacher Institute, less than 0.05% of abortions result in complications requiring hospital care.

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WASHINGTON - North Carolina has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a state law that would force women to undergo a narrated ultrasound before receiving an abortion—a measure that has been blocked by both a district court and federal appeals court as unconstitutional.

Yesterday’s filing follows the unanimous decision from a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in December 2014 affirming that the law violates the First Amendment rights of physicians by forcing them to deliver politically motivated communications to a patient even over the patient’s objection, declaring that "transforming the physician into the mouthpiece of the state undermines the trust that is necessary for facilitating healthy doctor-patient relationships and, through them, successful treatment outcomes."

The law was preliminarily blocked in October 2011 following a lawsuit filed on behalf of several North Carolina physicians and medical practices by the Center for Reproductive Rights, American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, Planned Parenthood, and the firm of O’Melveny & Myers.  The measure was later permanently struck down as unconstitutional by a federal district court in January 2014.

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The Top 10 ACLU-NC Stories of 2014

Posted on in Legal News

As another year in the fight to protect civil liberties draws to a close, it’s time to look back at the ACLU-NC’s Top 10 stories from 2014, in reverse chronological order:

  1. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a decision blocking a 2011 N.C. law that would have required doctors to show a woman an ultrasound and describe the images in detail four hours before performing an abortion, even if the woman objects. The ACLU and other groups had challenged the law on behalf of health care providers.
     
  2. The ACLU-NC won two federal lawsuits giving LGBT couples the freedom to marry and to adopt their partner’s children.
     
  3. The ACLU-NC helped uncover information about law enforcement’s use of secretive Stingray surveillance technology in Charlotte, Durham, Raleigh, and Wilmington.
     
  4. ACLU lawyers twice argued against North Carolina’s voter suppression law, widely considered the worst in the country, in federal court. The full trial will take place this summer. 
     
  5. The ACLU released a report finding that the majority of SWAT raids in N.C. and other states are for low-level crimes and disproportionately target people of color.
     
  6. The N.C. House passed a bill to “raise the age” of juvenile jurisdiction so that 16 and 17 year olds charged with misdemeanors would no longer be automatically sent to adult prisons following advocacy from the ACLU-NC and others. 
     
  7. An ACLU-NC report showed that virtually all of North Carolina’s county jails failed to comply with new federal regulations set by the Prison Rape Elimination Act.
     
  8. The ACLU-NC and others helped protect the freedom to read by defeating a ban on Isabel Allende’s “The House of the Spirits” at Watauga High School in Boone. 
     
  9. A federal appeals court unanimously ruled North Carolina’s one-sided “Choose Life” license plate law unconstitutional. ACLU-NC Legal Director Chris Brook argued the case.
     
  10. The ACLU-NC teamed up with student Basil Soper to persuade Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College to allow transgender students to use their preferred name on public documents.

Help the ACLU-NC keep up the fight for civil liberties in 2015 by making a tax-deductible donation today!

RICHMOND, Va. - In a unanimous decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has permanently blocked a 2011 North Carolina law that would force women to undergo a narrated ultrasound before receiving abortion care. Today’s ruling states that "the state cannot commandeer the doctor-patient relationship to compel a physician to express its preference to the patient."

The law—which requires abortion providers to display the ultrasound and describe the images in detail to every woman before performing an abortion, even if the woman objects— was preliminarily blocked in October 2011 following a lawsuit filed on behalf of several North Carolina physicians and medical practicioners by the Center for Reproductive Rights, American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, Planned Parenthood, and the firm of O’Melveny & Myers.  The measure was later permanently struck down as unconstitutional by a federal district court in January 2014.

North Carolina’s coercive ultrasound law violates the First Amendment rights of physicians by forcing them to deliver politically motivated communications to a patient even over the patient’s objection. Today’s ruling affirms that "transforming the physician into the mouthpiece of the state undermines the trust that is necessary for facilitating healthy doctor-patient relationships and, through them, successful treatment outcomes."

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