A North Carolina House subcommittee heard testimony today on H854, the "Abortion - A Woman’s Right to Know" Act. The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Ruth Samuelson, District 104, Mecklenburg County, and Rep. Patricia McElraft, District 13, representing Carteret and Jones Counties.
H854 calls for a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion could be performed in North Carolina. During that time a woman considering an abortion would be provided with essential information in order to make an informed decision. That would include being given the name of the physician who will perform the abortion, whether the doctor has malpractice liability insurance, medical risks associated with the procedure, including psychological risks and the opportunity to view an ultrasound and hear the heartbeat of her child.
In a statement presented on behalf of Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Msgr. David D. Brockman, Vicar General of the Diocese of Raleigh, told the committee members that, “Today, among the many great advances in medical science is that it is possible for a pregnant woman to have the opportunity to see an ultrasound image of her child within her. In effect, these ultrasound images provide a window into the womb.”
Msgr. Brockman spoke of the “significant psychological trauma” many women face after they realize “that the child they aborted had a heartbeat, brain activity and clearly identifiable human physical features.” He pointed out that the proposed legislation is clearly “pro-life and pro-woman.”
The bill, which passed a 1st Reading in the House on April 7, is expected to taken up by the full House as early as next week.
Above: Msgr. David D. Brockman, Vicar General, presenting statement to House Judiciary B Subcommittee on Abortion-A Woman’s Right to Know Act.
Below: Mrs. Jackie Bonk, Diocesan Director of the Office of Pro-Life, and Mrs. Betty Rogosich, Director of Birthchoice, attending House committee hearing. Mrs. Rogosich also spoke on behalf of the bill.
Msgr. David D. Brockman’s statement
House Judiciary B Subcommittee
May 4, 2011
The decision to have an abortion is a difficult one for many women. Abortion may be seen as the only possible decision and one quite often made when facing great emotional distress, without fully understanding clearly, the decision she is about to make. H854 provides a woman that needed opportunity to have important medical facts and information available to her before making her final decision.
The proposed bill will do just that by requiring medical professionals to make available information on the procedure, including the estimated gestational age of the baby, the medical risks associated with an abortion, medical assistance benefits and/or public assistance programs which are available for prenatal care, the name of the physician who performs abortions, and if that physician has the appropriate malpractice liability insurance.
Today, among the many great advances in medical science, is that it is possible for a pregnant woman to have the opportunity to see an ultrasound image of her child within her. In effect, these ultrasound images provide a window into the womb. Thus, if a woman is denied information, such as an ultrasound and the information relevant to her decision, such as provided for in this bill, she stands little chance of being able to make a fully informed choice.
In working with so many women who have sought assistance through ministries such as Project Rachel and others, we have learned that a woman, after having an abortion, will experience significant psychological trauma, especially when she comes to realize later that the child she aborted had a heartbeat, brain activity and clearly identifiable human physical features.
A mother who is faced with such realities is entitled to the opportunity of truly understanding the scope and consequences of her decision, so she may be able to spare herself from the darkness of a lifetime of regret and accept the precious gift of life growing within her.
Therefore, representing Bishop Michael Burbidge and the 400,000 Catholics in the Diocese of Raleigh, I respectfully request your vote in favor of H854, legislation that is pro-women and pro-life, and that will provide women with the information, the time, the respect and the dignity that they need and deserve