Bishop Peter J. Jugis: Women have a right to know before getting an abortion
For many years abortion supporters have stated that they wanted to make abortion "Safe, rare and legal." Although the exact definition of "rare" may differ, decreasing the number of abortions seemed to be one area of common ground for people on both sides of this contention issue.
N.C. Gov. Beverly Perdue lost an opportunity to make abortion rare in North Carolina when she vetoed the Woman's Right to Know Act on June 27. This sensible piece of legislation provides a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion is performed and requires abortion clinics to provide women with information, including an ultrasound, so that they can make an informed choice about what is literally a life-and-death decision. Twenty-six other states already have similar legislation in place.
It is appalling to think that we even need legislation that requires a waiting period before a serious operation is performed. For nearly all medical procedures, consultation with a physician in the days or weeks before an operation is considered routine. Only with abortion can someone literally drive up to a clinic in the morning and go through a major surgical procedure within a matter of hours.
A doctor wouldn't skip getting an X-ray before mending someone's broken arm. Why is an ultrasound, which is far safer than an X-ray, even questioned before an abortion is considered?
Both the governor and the Charlotte Observer this week cited concerns about patient-doctor privacy in supporting the veto of the Woman's Right to Know Act. Abortionists may be medically certified but they don't have an ongoing doctor-patient relationship with women who are seeking their services. Typically, the abortionist spends only a few minutes with a woman before removing the innocent unborn life from her womb. The abortionist then moves onto the next woman to perform the next procedure, while his patients move forward with lives that are often fraught with guilt.
Fortunately, North Carolina has a way to override the governor's veto. This legislation is only one vote shy, in each house, of the necessary three-fifths majority needed to override the governor and become law. In the coming weeks, my prayers and efforts will be focused on convincing at least two more legislators that the Woman's Right to Know Act respects the dignity of a woman with an unplanned pregnancy as she considers the fate of the innocent human life she carries in her womb.
Bishop Peter J. Jugis leads the Diocese of Charlotte.
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FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy