14-45.1. When abortion not unlawful.

(a) Notwithstanding any of the provisions of G.S. 14-44 and 14-45, it shall not be unlawful, during the first 20 weeks of a woman's pregnancy, to advise, procure, or cause a miscarriage or abortion when the procedure is performed by a physician licensed to practice medicine in North Carolina in a hospital or clinic certified by the Department of Health and Human Services to be a suitable facility for the performance of abortions.

(b) Notwithstanding any of the provisions of G.S. 14-44 and 14-45, it shall not be unlawful, after the twentieth week of a woman's pregnancy, to advise, procure or cause a miscarriage or abortion when the procedure is performed by a physician licensed to practice medicine in North Carolina in a hospital licensed by the Department of Health and Human Services, if there is substantial risk that continuance of the pregnancy would threaten the life or gravely impair the health of the woman.

(c) The Department of Health and Human Services shall prescribe and collect on an annual basis, from hospitals or clinics where abortions are performed, such representative samplings of statistical summary reports concerning the medical and demographic characteristics of the abortions provided for in this section as it shall deem to be in the public interest. Hospitals or clinics where abortions are performed shall be responsible for providing these statistical summary reports to the Department of Health and Human Services. The reports shall be for statistical purposes only and the confidentiality of the patient relationship shall be protected.

(d) The requirements of G.S. 130-43 are not applicable to abortions performed pursuant to this section.

(e) Nothing in this section shall require a physician licensed to practice medicine in North Carolina, any nurse, or any other health care provider who shall state an objection to abortion on moral, ethical, or religious grounds, to perform or participate in medical procedures which result in an abortion. The refusal of a physician, nurse, or health care provider to perform or participate in these medical procedures shall not be a basis for damages for the refusal, or for any disciplinary or any other recriminatory action against the physician, nurse, or health care provider. For purposes of this section, the phrase "health care provider" shall have the same meaning as defined under G.S. 90-410(1).

(f) Nothing in this section shall require a hospital, other health care institution, or other health care provider to perform an abortion or to provide abortion services. (1967, c. 367, s. 2; 1971, c. 383, ss. 1, 11/2; 1973, c. 139; c. 476, s. 128; c. 711; 1997-443, s. 11A.118(a); 2013-366, s. 1(a), (b).)