Last week, I concluded my article “The Status of ‘Life’ in North Carolina Now That Roe v. Wade is History”with the following statement: “Without pro-life supermajorities in the State House and Senate following this fall’s General Election, North Carolina will face two more years (the remainder of Governor Cooper’s term), and possibly even longer, as a destination state for abortion in the Southeast. We simply cannot let this happen!” Yesterday, Governor Roy Cooper made his intentions regarding abortion crystal clear, as he signed an Executive Order “Protecting Access to Reproductive Health Care Services in North Carolina.”
A press statement from the Governor’s office highlighted the fact that Gov. Cooper stood side-by-side with Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, as he penned his signature on the Order. Of course, Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the nation.
“For now, it’s up to the states to determine whether women get reproductive health care, and in North Carolina they still can, thanks to my veto and enough legislative votes to sustain it,” the Governor said. “I am determined to keep it that way and people need to know that their votes in state legislative races this November will determine the fate of women’s health and freedom in our state.” The Governor’s action comes in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade.
“Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, North Carolina has become an increasingly critical access point for people traveling for abortion care, including from neighboring South Carolina and Tennessee, where lawmakers in both states have swiftly banned most abortions,” said Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s Johnson. “Now we must continue to do everything in our power to ensure abortion remains accessible in North Carolina, both for North Carolinians and those forced to flee their own state amid mounting restrictions and cruel bans.”
Jenny Black, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic was also quoted in the Governor’s press release. “For now, abortion is still legal in North Carolina. But our reproductive freedom is hanging by a thread. The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has paved the way for state lawmakers to pass an all-out ban as soon as next year,” Black said. “Our objective is clear: to keep abortion legal in this state, North Carolinians must elect candidates who will protect access to sexual and reproductive health care at the state level and ensure Governor Cooper has the necessary votes to sustain his veto of the all-out attacks on reproductive freedom that are sure to come. The future of abortion access not only for North Carolinians but potentially the entire Southeast region is on the line in 2022, and we thank Governor Cooper for his strong advocacy in support of reproductive freedom today.”
The Governor’s position is tragic, but the political landscape is clear—this year’s General Election is literally a matter of life and death!
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