Gov. Bev Perdue vetoed a bill Monday that would require women seeking abortions to wait 24 hours after state-prescribed counseling, leaving the bill's House supporters looking for override votes.
The bill would have made significant changes in state abortion policy, changes supporters said would give pregnant women important information about fetal development and abortion alternatives. Opponents said the requirements would interfere with doctor-patient relationships and demonstrated a distrust of women's judgment.
In a statement, Perdue said doctors should be able to give patients their best advice without politicians looking over their shoulders.
"This bill is a dangerous intrusion into the confidential relationship that exists between women and their doctors," she said. "The bill contains provisions that are the most extreme in the nation in terms of interfering with that relationship. Physicians must be free to advise and treat their patients based on their medical knowledge and expertise and not have their advice overridden by elected officials seeking to impose their own ideological agenda on others."
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Locked in a contentious battle with the GOP-controlled legislature, Perdue, a Democrat, has set a record for a North Carolina governor in using the veto to prevent legislation from becoming law. She issued her 10th and 11th vetoes for the year, with her rejections of the abortion bill and another that would have waived a county water pollution fine. The legislature passed a state budget despite her veto.
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