by John Grooms
I may have voted for Bev Perdue a bit reluctantly in 2008, but man, Im starting to like this governor more and more. Confronted by a legislature that was taken over by the far-right of the GOP, she has done what politicians used to do more frequently: shes shown that she has principles and has stood by them. Yesterday, she slapped a veto on an incredibly intrusive abortion bill that is the religious rights top priority. Officially known as the Womens Right To Know Act, it should have more correctly been named the We Know Whats Best for Women Act. As Gov. Perdue correctly pointed out, the law would be a dangerous intrusion into the confidential relationship that exists between women and their doctors. The bill contains provisions that are the most extreme in the nation in terms of interfering with that relationship. It will only take one vote in both the Senate and House to override Perdues veto, so the battles not over yet. All Republicans in the General Assembly from Mecklenburg County voted for the bill, and all Democrats voted "no."
The abortion bill was the latest in a nationwide onslaught against womens reproductive rights by state-level Republicans. The big difference for N.C., of course, is that our governor is a Democrat, a woman, and a supporter of womens rights. Like some other states bills, the N.C. bill would set up regulations for women who want an abortion. It was sponsored by Charlottes own Ruth Samuelson who, as we wrote before, seems to think that women who have chosen to have an abortion don't have enough problems already. Either that or she thinks women who want an abortion havent thought their options through well enough, i.e., theyre stupid. The bill would mandate a 24-hour waiting period, and the woman and her doctor would have to jump through a series of very specific, government-mandated hoops, designed to change the womans mind (although bill supporters will never admit this obvious, simple truth about the bills intent). The most intrusive measure would make doctors perform an ultrasound on the woman and describe it to her (the cost of the ultrasound, of course, would be added to the womans bill); she then would be forced to sign a certification saying that she has seen the ultrasound and heard the doctors spiel.
If you had to pick anything that this session of the General Assembly has done to be the grandest example of the majority partys hypocrisy and repugnant pandering to the religious right, its the egregious abortion bill Gov. Perdue vetoed yesterday. What I want to know is how in hell GOP legislators plan to keep a straight face the next time they describe themselves to voters as the party that trusts people to make their own informed decisions without government intervention."