North Carolina’s original ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, like all abortion restrictions of the past 50 years, was put forward by anti-abortion politicians and was never rooted in medical science or compassion for patients in complex medical situations. When the courts blocked this ban in 2019, they returned this deeply personal decision back to patients in consultation with their doctors.
The reinstatement of this ban now, when increasing numbers of states around us have banned or severely restricted abortion, means North Carolinians will be forced to not just leave the state, but to travel even farther to obtain the abortion care they need, putting people’s lives, health, and safety at risk. Patients from around the region, who were relying on North Carolina for abortion care after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe, now also have to travel even farther for care.
These types of political and arbitrary bans rely on inflammatory and misinformed rhetoric; ignore patients’ realities and experiences; create confusion, stigma, and fear; and are explicitly designed to push abortion access out of reach.
We know the majority of North Carolinians, like the majority of people in this country, believe in autonomy for people making personal decisions and in fair treatment and equitable access to healthcare. North Carolinians also recognize that we all experience unique circumstances that demand our compassion, not our judgment. The reinstatement of this politicized and arbitrary abortion ban is a step backwards for reproductive freedom for all North Carolinians.