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Rep. Pittman files bill to provide information about stopping abortions

SALISBURY — State Rep. Larry Pittman, R-83, has filed his first bill of the 2019 session, and it aims to prevent women from being “coerced” into going through with an abortion.

Pittman, whose district covers parts of Rowan and Cabarrus counties, introduced House Bill 22 on Wednesday. It would be an addition to the Woman’s Right to Know Act called Ashley’s Law and aim to address women who take medication to terminate a pregnancy but change their minds and want to stop the abortion process.

Pittman is the bill’s first primary sponsor. Also sponsoring the bill are Reps. Michael Speciale, a Republican who represents the 3rd District, and Keith Kidwell, a Republican who represents the 79th District.

Pittman is specifically proposing that the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services provide information to women about abortion.

“The Women’s Right to Know statutes are important because too many mothers are deceived and coaxed and even coerced into the destruction of their babies without knowing all the facts to make an adequately informed decision,” Pittman said. “The abortion industry is certainly not going to give them the information willingly.”

The bill, if passed, would require health care professionals to inform women taking mifepristone, a medication to end a pregnancy, that it’s possible to discontinue the abortion and that effects of the medication can be reversed. The women would be informed that information saying how, where and from whom women can obtain assistance in discontinuing a medical abortion is available on the DHHS website.

The bill also would require the physician or medical professional to provide medical proof to the woman that a fetal death has occurred.

“The goal is to let mothers know that if they have taken the first pill in the RU486 (mifepristone) process and change their minds, there is a way to reverse the process and save the lives of their babies if they seek it right away,” Pittman said. “From my years of experience facing the horror of abortion and working with others to provide mothers other options, I can tell you that the abortion perpetrators are not going to provide this information to their victims if they are not made to do so by law.”

The bill would be an addition to the Women’s Right to Know Act that was passed by the N.C. General Assembly in 2011. The act required a 24-hour waiting period and the pregnant woman giving informed consent before an abortion. The bill also required the woman seeking an abortion to see and hear a description of ultrasound images.

The next step for the bill is a committee hearing. It passed its first reading on Feb. 6 and was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

The bill asks for the DHHS website to be updated with information about how a woman can receive assistance to discontinue the medical abortion process by July 1. The full bill would go into effect Oct. 1, if passed.

The bill also includes a section that requires DHHS to monitor the website to prevent and correct tampering.

Pittman has also signed on as a co-sponsor of a related bill that would prohibit abortions after 13 weeks.

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