BREAKING: Groups urging NC Gov. Cooper to expand NC abortion laws following aborted birth-alert program

The Center for Reproductive Rights in Washington, D.C., and other groups are in North Carolina this week urging Republican Gov. Roy Cooper to expand existing anti-abortion laws and also consider adding protections for vulnerable women in cases of complications from rape and incest.

The call comes after North Carolina officials suspended a birth-alert program that would have reached pregnant women in certain extreme cases. The measure requires that babies be delivered in the event their mother faces danger during labor.

The governor’s office said last week that Gov. Cooper will meet with women’s health advocates in Raleigh Wednesday to discuss ways to make sure vulnerable women and their unborn children don’t go without critical services.

The controversy over North Carolina’s adoption notification laws is linked to similar moves in Wisconsin and North Dakota. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that 11 states, including Ohio, Indiana and South Carolina, have canceled similar programs since 2011.

Following the Summer of 1973, an estimated 4 percent of deliveries in the U.S. involved a miscarriage of 21 days or more, according to the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. About 30 percent of those miscarriages occurred during the first month of pregnancy.

Dr. Felicia Koslow, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California San Francisco and an ob-gyn/maternal-fetal medicine specialist, told that they probably don’t know how many women die from birth or abortion complications.

“Overall we don’t know the number of women who die from complications that might have been prevented if we could identify women in the midst of a difficult pregnancy,” she said.

Cece Cox, senior associate policy counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the services in North Carolina may have saved the lives of some women.

“I’m sure many women would have given birth had this policy not been in place,” she said.

The case was strikingly similar to the case in Wisconsin, where the program also canceled, which had been in place since 1993. Instead, doctors told women about their options before they delivered.

One expert said North Carolina’s move could actually cost women if emergency care is not provided immediately.

“The unique thing in North Carolina is there is no excuse not to call this woman and say ‘I’m trying to reach you. Is it OK if you don’t reach us but I’m here, and I’m at the emergency room right now,'” said Dr. Lissa Main, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Hear more from Main in the video above.’s Cristina Corbin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Leave a Comment