New Abortion Restrictions Take Effect Wednesday

New abortion restrictions in North Carolina are set to take effect without a key portion of the measure which focused upon ultrasounds for pregnant women.

Women will be subject to a 24-hour waiting period and have access to information about the risk of abortion and alternatives to the procedure starting Wednesday. The General Assembly approved the law this summer when it overrode Gov. Beverly Perdue's veto.

A federal judge on Tuesday blocked a provision in which a medical professional performing an ultrasound at least four hours before a scheduled abortion put the image in a place where the woman may view it. The provider also would have had to offer the woman the chance to listen to the fetal heart beat.

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A federal judge has blocked a portion of North Carolina's new abortion restrictions that would make new requirements of medical providers who perform ultrasounds on pregnant women.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles in Greensboro issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday, the day before the law is enforceable. Eagles blocked a provision regarding what must be shown and told to a woman when an ultrasound is performed at least four hours before the scheduled procedure.

The section required the medical worker to put the electronic image of the fetus in front of the pregnant woman, describe what the woman may view and offer her the chance to listen to the fetal heart beat.

Eagles said other sections of the law -- including a 24-hour waiting period -- can be enforced.

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