Join us at the Moral March on Raleigh and To the Polls!

Pro-Choice North Carolina (PCNC) will be joining with our partners at the North Carolina Poor People’s Campaign and Repairers of the Breach at the March 2nd event, the Moral March on Raleigh and To the Polls. An extension of the Moral Monday Movement and HKoJ coalition led for many years by the North Carolina NAACP, this year’s march will be one of 30 occurring in state capitols around the country. As an continuation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s 1967 “Poor People’s Campaign”, this rally and march is part of a state and national campaign to re-enfranchise the many who have been left behind in our society that is steeped in what Dr. King called the triple evils - “racism, militarism, and poverty”. 

PCNC has been a partner in this coalition for over a decade because we know that economic justice is a key part of achieving reproductive justice. While abortion access and the full range of reproductive health care had for too long been sidelined in the discussions of economic security and equal opportunity-by both anti-abortion opponents and some social justice movement partners-we have long recognized that the personal decisions of if, when, and how to start and raise a family are often connected with a person’s economic situation, usually intersecting with other issues and experiences in that person’s life. 

It can be too simplistic to reduce a decision on whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term to economics , however. While a significant number of people who access abortion are living on low incomes, many low-income people decide to carry an unplanned pregnancy to term, most likely with plans to parent the child. There are also a significant number of people with economic means who decide to get an abortion when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. There are so many reasons why someone may choose to get an abortion-their own health and safety and that of the fetus, their family’s stability and security, their life experiences, or their desire or ability to parent. A person’s decision to carry a pregnancy to term or not is often based on many intersecting and sometimes complex reasons, and it is not our business to judge or shame people for those decisions. We should instead focus on ways to provide support so people can make the best decisions for themselves and their families. . 

This is not to say that one’s economic situation may not be a factor, and we collectively should do more to ensure people have robust and supportive options for when they are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. In addition to ensuring all people who need it can access abortion care safely and with dignity, we also need a much more robust safety net for pregnant people and families, as well as a dismantling of the institutions and structures that traffic in racism, sexism, xenophobia, trans/homophobia, and other prejudices that are designed to keep people trapped in poverty and robbed of equal opportunities. 

Anti-abortion centers that pose as medical clinics for low-income patients often tout their “big baby showers” that they provide for their clients as proof that they are “caring for the woman and baby”. While there is absolutely a need for resources that too many pregnant people don’t have access to, providing families with intermittent and time-limited charity is not going to create long-term economic security and family stability. Access to quality and affordable healthcare and childcare is needed, as well as a guarantee of a quality pre-K-through-12 public education (that includes comprehensive sex education) and opportunities for higher education and job training. We have to commit to providing all families with clean and safe home and natural environments, free from toxic heavy metals and waste that stunts the abilities and opportunities of too many of our children, particularly those in Black, Brown, and low-income communities, and contributes to premature death and disability. We also need to finally live up to our oft-touted “family values” by ensuring work-life balance for families, including living wages, paid sick time, paid parental leave, paid family medical leave, and equal access to good jobs.

The above policies and priorities will impact not just our decisions around family planning, but also where we want to live to raise our families, how we can best use our talents for meaningful and dignified work, and how we are able to contribute to our collective community well-being. When we do our best to ensure no one falls through the cracks, we all benefit. 

One way we advocate for these policies in a democracy is to ensure we all have equal access to the ballot. That is another key component of the Moral March - advocating for our voting rights, free and fair elections, fair courts, and fair, non-gerrymandered districts. This is an additional reason we have been a long-time partner in this coalition. We know that you can't have true reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy without the ability to have a say in how your communities are governed and organized. 

We’ll be at the march on March 2nd calling for equality, a robust and fair democracy, and reproductive freedom for all. We hope you can join us!

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