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Presented at North American Forum on Family Planning in Miami Florida.



Abortion laws are proliferating in the United States. From 2011 to 2013, 30 states passed a total of 205 abortion restrictions.1 Increasingly, these laws are focused on abortion providers. Such laws have been criticized by professional organizations including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists,2 but few studies have assessed the impact of these laws on abortion providers.

In 2011 North Carolina passed HB 854, the “Women’s Right To Know Act” (WRTK). Similar to laws in 26 other states, WRTK mandates a 24-hour waiting period after counseling before an abortion can be performed. Content of the counseling is partially dictated by the state, and contains scripted statements about the potential harms of abortion and pregnancy alternatives. There are no allowances for discretion in consideration of specific patient circumstances. We performed a qualitative study to investigate the impact of the WRTK Act on abortion providers in North Carolina.