North Carolina Republican state Rep. Jacqueline Schaffer successfully urged her colleagues to pass the nation’s longest waiting period for abortion on Thursday, arguing that woman should have a cooling off period just like real estate transactions.
In her address to the North Carolina state House on Monday, Schaffer explained that HB 464 would increase the waiting period from 24 hours to 72 hours, joining states like Missouri, South Dakota and Utah.
“We see waiting periods all throughout areas of our society in the medical context as well as in the real estate context, in the, you know, issues relating to marriage,” Schaffer insisted. “The poorest decisions that we make are the ones that we make under pressure and on impulse and so we want to ensure that women have ample amount of time to receive that information so that they can make the best decision.”
“We believe we have come to a decision on this language that really does empower women and promotes the health and safety of women as they are making these important decisions,” she added. “So we believe that this is truly a bill that those that are both pro-life and pro-choice can get behind.”
State Rep. Michele Presnell (R) argued that extra time was needed because “young girls” did not have enough experience to make decisions in their own time.
“I don’t think that adding — 72 hours is only three days — I think that is a good amount of time,” she remarked. “These young girls, when they go in there, some of them very abrupt, very quickly they make that decision that they’re going to get rid of this baby.”
“This baby at 5 weeks has a beating heart. When you have an abortion you stop that beating heart. I don’t agree with abortion in any way.”
The House passed the bill 74 to 45, largely along party lines. The state Senate was expected to take up the bill next.
Listen to the audio below, broadcast April 23, 2015.