Tonight our gerrymandered state legislature narrowly overrode the Governor’s veto of the monster abortion ban (SB20). This unpopular and dangerous bill passed in both chambers along party lines just two weeks after the legislation was hastily revealed to the public. This bill is unrepresentative of the majority of North Carolinians who do not want to see further abortion restrictions in our state and goes against the recommendations of all major medical associations.
This law does not go into effect until July 1st and until then abortion access remains unchanged in our state. Once this law goes into effect, however, it will disrupt and deny care to patients seeking a range of reproductive healthcare services, including abortion, miscarriage management, and pregnancy care. This law will interfere with the patient-provider relationship, create confusion and fear among patients, and chill medical professionals’ ability to provide needed care.
In the year since the Dobbs decision, we have seen - clearly and repeatedly - how these political, arbitrary, and medically unnecessary bans and restrictions have created chaos in healthcare systems around the country, with dangerous impacts reverberating beyond reproductive health care. Our state's lawmakers could have learned from what we are seeing in those states and committed themselves to ensuring all people can access the full range of reproductive healthcare, no matter their personal views on abortion. Instead, in a party line, lockstep vote, the GOP legislators opted to play politics with people’s lives to score points for the 2024 election. The patients who will be impacted and harmed by this bill are an afterthought, if they were thought of at all.
Anti-abortion lawmakers in our General Assembly have spent decades methodically drafting and passing medically unnecessary and politically motivated laws to take away our access to abortion, and we know they are not done yet. SB20 is another in a long line of inflammatory and medically false bills designed to attack abortion patients and abortion providers and to deceive the public about the realities of reproductive health care. These lawmakers have created a landscape of barriers and undue burdens, all designed to control the health, bodies, and lives of women, pregnant people, and families across North Carolina, and we know these same lawmakers will not stop until they have banned all abortion, no exceptions.
The passage of SB20 is a devastating setback, but we will keep fighting. Abortion is healthcare, abortion is essential, and abortion must not be politicized in this way. We will never stop fighting for abortion access because there is too much at stake, especially for young people, Black people, Indigenous people, People of Color, people of lower income, rural communities, LGBTQ+ communities, and immigrants, who will be and are most impacted by bans like SB20.
Pro-Choice North Carolina and our allies will continue our critical work to defend and advance abortion and reproductive rights in North Carolina. We will keep fighting to protect people who access abortion and people who provide abortion from criminalization. We are the majority, and we will not stop fighting for abortion access and reproductive freedom for all.