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NC lawmakers back bill adding abortion regulations

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By EMERY P. DALESIO
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- North Carolina legislators are moving ahead with an effort to make it more time-consuming to get an abortion by requiring state-mandated counseling, a 24-hour waiting period and an ultrasound of the fetus.

A House committee recommended the bill Wednesday.

Supporters say the extra information would help women make more informed decisions. Opponents call that a sham and say the real purpose is to limit a woman's choice.

Legislative budget analysts estimate the rules would increase Medicaid costs because of nearly 3,000 additional births annually. The cost to taxpayers is estimated at nearly $7 million the first year and $35 million over five years.

North Carolina is one of 16 states that don't require specialized counseling before an abortion. Half the states require a waiting period after counseling.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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