By Peyton Majors
Christian Action League
January 6, 2023
Planned Parenthood is dropping a lawsuit challenging five North Carolina pro-life laws in light of the overturning of Roe v. Wade and a legal motion from two pro-life Republican leaders.
The lawsuit, filed in 2020, had sought to overturn five state laws as unconstitutional. Those five laws: 1) allow only “a qualified physician licensed to practice medicine in North Carolina” to perform abortions; 2) require a 72-hour waiting period before obtaining an abortion; 3) ban telemedicine abortions by requiring the physician to be physically present when dispensing the abortion pill; 4) require annual inspections of abortion clinics; and, 5) require informed consent prior to a woman having an abortion.
Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, which was representing abortion providers, dropped the lawsuit in late December.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) represented North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger in defending the laws and applauded the news. ADF is a pro-life legal organization.
“Every woman deserves to have all the information she needs to make the healthiest choice for everyone involved in an unexpected pregnancy,” said ADF senior counsel Denise Harle. “Tragically, many women turn to abortion as a last resort, unaware of the resources available to them or the harms of abortion. No one benefits more from this situation than abortionists and their facilities. We’re pleased to have favorably closed this case on behalf of the legislators we represent, and to see these life-saving state laws that empower women remain in effect.”
ADF called the dropping of the suit a “victory for mothers and unborn children in North Carolina.”
It had filed a motion in December on behalf of Moore and Berger seeking the case’s dismissal.
The Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision in June overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that had legalized abortion nationwide.
“Dobbs removed any doubt that states have the authority to limit abortion in a way that promotes life and ensures health and safety,” ADF said in its motion. “Dobbs … held there is no federal constitutional right to abortion, and declared that ‘the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives.’”
Further, the ADF motion said, Dobbs “established that a ‘law regulating abortion, like other health and welfare laws, is entitled to a strong presumption of validity’ and ‘must be sustained if there is a rational basis on which the legislature could have thought that it would serve legitimate state interests.’”
The Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe “had an immediate effect on North Carolina’s abortion laws,” the motion said, noting that a different court had lifted an injunction on the state’s 20-week abortion ban.
“There is no right to abortion in the North Carolina Constitution’s text, structure, history, or case law interpreting it,” the ADF motion argued. “The challenged laws therefore do not implicate fundamental rights, and they easily pass the applicable rational-basis scrutiny by advancing legitimate state interests in protecting maternal health and preserving prenatal life.”
In response to hearing the good news about this pro-life victory, Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League simply but exuberantly said, “Doxology!!!!!”