On March 07, 2022 , the City of Durham passed a Reproductive Freedom resolution, committing Durham to upholding the values of reproductive freedom in its policies, ordinances, and procedures, and to being a safe zone for sexual and reproductive health care.
Pro-Choice North Carolina is proud to have played a part in this resolution, along with partners at El Centro Hispano and Action NC RAGE. Below are remarks from Tara Romano, Executive Director, on the need for this first-of-its-kind resolution in North Carolina.
It’s no surprise that the City of Durham is considering passing a resolution in declaration of fundamental reproductive freedoms, as the City is among just four local governments in North Carolina and approximately two dozen localities around the country that have passed resolutions calling for an end to the unjust and anti-abortion federal Hyde Amendment . This resolution is also a welcome action as we witness the most intense attacks on abortion access at the federal and state level in nearly five decades.
Reproductive freedom, including safe and affordable access to abortion, contraception, pre and post-natal care, and comprehensive and accurate sex education, is a necessary and critical freedom that too many politicians are eager to trade away in exchange for political power. With a U.S. Supreme Court seemingly ready to overturn nearly 50 years of legal precedent in order to re-criminalize abortion, states like Texas openly defying federal constitutional rights to ban abortion, and lawmakers here in North Carolina continuing to stigmatize and erode access to all sexual and reproductive healthcare, we need local governments to take a stand for these fundamental freedoms.
Whether it’s ensuring safety at abortion and reproductive healthcare clinics, finding innovative ways to expand access to affordable, quality reproductive and sexual healthcare, ensuring youth have the tools they need to assert their bodily autonomy, or creating tangible and material support and policies for people making their own reproductive healthcare decisions, there are numerous ways local governments can step in where our state and federal governments have fallen short. We applaud the City of Durham’s proactive efforts to assure its residents that their local elected officials are committed to the values of reproductive freedom.
Restrictions on abortion, just as restrictions on all healthcare, impact Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities more acutely and disproportionately. Unnecessary and political restrictions force these communities and people with low incomes, rural communities, young people, immigrant communities, LGBTQ people, and those with disabilities to bear unjust burdens as they try to access care that is critical to their health, safety, well-being, and economic security. As reproductive oppression occurs at many intersections, we know that abortion access is not the only target, and that we must remain vigilant in facing these escalating oppressions.
We applaud the City of Durham for considering this proactive approach to Reproductive Freedom. We encourage the City to adopt this resolution, the first of its kind in North Carolina; to build on the City’s history of championing human rights and equality for all, and to stand as a leader for other local governments to follow.