North Carolina Abortion Doctors Must Send Ultrasound Pics To State Officials

Robyn Pennacchia | January 11, 2016 - 3:15 pm

Looking to have an abortion in North Carolina? Well, thanks to a super creepy new law, if you have one after 16 weeks, the state will now require your doctor to send a picture of your ultrasound to the Department of Health and Human Services.

The law, which went into effect on Jan. 1st, is supposedly for “statistical purposes only.” It will require doctors to release information on how they determined the gestational age of the fetus, and also require them to submit the ultrasound picture in order to allow state officials to ensure that they are complying with the law. North Carolina law currently prohibits abortion after 20 weeks, as opposed to the standard 23-24.

The problem is, estimating gestational age is not an exact science, and there are a number of factors involved other than the size of the fetus itself.

Doctors themselves will be held responsible for removing the patient’s name from the ultrasound–but even with the name removed, this feels like a huge violation of a patient’s privacy. I know I wouldn’t want such personal information being sent to a government official. It also seems like just another way to make having an abortion even more inconvenient for both the patient and doctor. The more restrictions states are allowed to put on abortion, the more our right to reproductive care and our right to privacy is diminished.

[New York Times]