The North Carolina House has decided it wants to extend the time a pregnant woman must wait before having an abortion from 24 hours after contacting a provider to 72 hours.
The House voted 74-45 Thursday to expand the waiting period before women can undergo the procedure. The passage followed an emotional but civil debate about the issue that's gotten more attention from the Republican-led legislature over the past four years.
GOP sponsor Rep. Pat McElraft of Emerald Isle says the extension ensures women have more time to obtain more information about abortion and potentially change their mind.
Rep. Terry Van Duyn, a Buncombe County democrat opposes the bill. "These are decisions that are very personal and very, very difficult. And they should be between a woman and her doctor. And government just needs to get out of that business."
Democratic Rep. Susan Fisher of Buncombe County says the new rules place an unfair burden on women. "They've traveled some distance to go to the doctor. They go home. They have to go back again. It's both a financial and an emotional burden for a woman to have to delay this procedure that she has come to the decision to do."
The bill now heads to the Senate.