Planned Parenthood vs North Carolina


The new NC State law, SB 20, introduced in July of 2023, required that no abortion pills or procedures be provided to women without first verifying the presence of a pregnancy in the uterus (an intrauterine pregnancy). The ultrasound to verify this acts as a safety mechanism to detect and limit the medical risk to women from an undiagnosed, ectopic pregnancy— a life-threatening condition.

Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers then sued the State of North Carolina, claiming this requirement of confirming an intrauterine pregnancy is unreasonable and restricts a woman’s access to abortion. The court heard the suit and found in favor of Planned Parenthood, thereby removing the requirement of determining whether there is an actual pregnancy in the uterus of a woman seeking an abortion. Failure to verify an intrauterine pregnancy puts women at risk of undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy, which abortion does not resolve.


Things to consider…

Ultrasound verification prior to abortion.
The fact is that an intrauterine pregnancy can typically be seen by ultrasound at approximately 5-6 weeks of pregnancy. Since abortion is legal in NC through 12 weeks and 6 days, Planned Parenthood’s claim is inaccurate and misleading to women – a woman who verifies her pregnancy first will typically have 6-7 weeks to make a decision and schedule an appointment.
Ultrasound verification reduces your risk – it’s basic standard of care.

To protect your health and safety, having an ultrasound to confirm an intrauterine pregnancy (pregnancy in the uterus) prior to any abortion procedure or pills is the basic standard of care – it should not be skipped for convenience. The ultrasound rules out ectopic pregnancy, which is a life-threatening emergency. You should expect this basic standard of care from any provider prior to them prescribing any medication or performing a surgery. At first, you may not have any symptoms of ectopic pregnancy.

Proceeding with abortion when no intrauterine pregnancy is confirmed adds undue health risks

While it is faster and easier for the provider to dispense pills without ultrasound confirmation of pregnancy, it places an undue burden of risk on you, the patient.

An ectopic pregnancy is not “treated” or removed by an abortion procedure or abortion pills and could rupture at any moment, causing bleeding, infection, and even death.

Ectopic pregnancies are on the rise: 2% of all pregnancies in the USA are ectopic. [source: ]

An ultrasound at Gateway Women’s Care is a confidential, free, non-invasive way to minimize the health risks to the abortion-seeking patient.

Factors that can increase your risk of ectopic pregnancy:


History of smoking

Previous ectopic pregnancy

History of infertility and/or infertility treatments

Previous abortion

Over age 35

Previous tubal ligation

Scar tissue or previous pelvic/abdominal surgeries

History of STI’s or PID

Being a Non-Hispanic Black Woman

Use of certain birth controls and emergency contraception

When it comes to your health and safety, steer away from shortcuts. Come to Gateway Women’s Care, the Triangle’s trusted source of care since 1984.