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RALEIGH — Planned Parenthood South Atlantic today sent Governor Cooper a letter urging him to veto House Bill 453, a bill that would ban abortion based on the supposed reason behind a patient’s decision. The North Carolina Senate passed the bill today, and it now heads to the governor.

“By forcing doctors to scrutinize a patient's reason for seeking an abortion, this bill discourages honest, confidential conversations and undermines the provider-patient relationship,” said Susanna Birdsong, North Carolina Director of Public Affairs of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic. “Politicians should never have control over private family decisions nor should they force a person to carry a pregnancy to term against their will. We call on Governor Cooper to veto this bill and protect North Carolinians’ access to essential health care.” 

H.B. 453 compels doctors to inquire about their patient's reason for seeking an abortion, preventing a person from obtaining one if their decision is based on the presumed race of the fetus or a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome. It also requires doctors to provide a statement to the Department of Health and Human Services confirming that the patient did not tell the physician that they were seeking an abortion based on the sex, race, or diagnosis of the fetus.

“As an OBGYN, I help my patients navigate deeply personal and sometimes challenging medical scenarios, from determining the best course of action for an ectopic pregnancy to supporting a family through an emergency cesarean delivery,” said Dr. Matt Zerden, Associate Affiliate Medical Director of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic. “None of these conversations are easy and each patient’s circumstances are unique. But no matter the situation, my patients trust me to give them the best medical advice and answer all questions with openness, compassion, and honesty. This bill inappropriately inserts politics into complex family decisions and undermines the essential health care I provide to my patients every day.”

View Planned Parenthood South Atlantic’s letter to Governor Cooper here: https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/planned-parenthood-votes-south-atlantic/blog/letter-to-governor-roy-cooper-urging-veto-of-house-bill-453