Since the GOP took the reigns of power in Raleigh, pro-choice groups in the state have suffered indignity after indignity. The latest affront came two days ago, when the State House imposed a 72-hour waiting period on those seeking abortions. The passage of HB 465 gives pro-choicers the dubious honor of having the “Worst Week in Raleigh.”

In addition to the 72-hour waiting period, doctors who perform an abortion in the last two weeks allowed by the law will be required to send ultrasounds and other information to the state Department of Health and Human Services. The bill was introduced by Rep. Jacqueline Schaffer, a Republican who represents a district in the Charlotte suburbs. Schaffer, an attorney, said the waiting period will prevent women from making rash decisions.

Pro-choice groups, naturally, were outraged. They say the bill is demeaning to women, who apparently can’t be trusted to make rational decisions in less than a 72-hour period. The three-day delay would be one of the longest in the nation, with NC joining only South Dakota, Utah, and Missouri in having such a long wait time. Other state legislatures are considering similar measures, however.

While the measure hasn’t yet gone to the Senate, it’s expected to pass easily. Then, it’s to Governor McCrory’s desk. While he might veto the bill, it would do nothing but score him political points with moderates, as the General Assembly could easily override him.

The bill’s passage this week is something of a consolation prize for religious conservatives, who are likely dismayed that NC’s version of the Religious Freedom bill is now dead as a doornail. But this prize comes at the expense of pro-choice groups.

Pro-choice NC groups (NARAL and Planned Parenthood, especially): the General Assembly’s tripling of the abortion waiting period makes you all the clear winners of this week’s “Worst Week in Raleigh” award. Just be grateful that the bill was significantly watered down, or else your week would have been even worse. You’re still winners, though. Congrats, or something.


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