Abortion is safe, common medical care, one that nearly one in four women in the United States access by age 45.
Since the Supreme Court decision in the 1973 case Roe v. Wade, abortion has been legal in the United States. It has become increasingly less accessible, however. Anti-choice advocates and politicians across the country and in North Carolina have worked since that time to chip away at the legal protections in order to make abortion care more difficult obtain, and eventually to make it illegal again. Laws at the federal, state, and local levels have drastically limited access to abortion care over the last forty plus years.
Beginning with the passage of the Hyde Amendment in 1976, which prohibits the use of federal funding for abortion care except in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the life of the pregnant person, abortion care has become less and less accessible in North Carolina and throughout the United States. Today, 91% of North Carolina counties have no abortion provider. That means the majority of North Carolina residents have no local access to abortion care.
Anti-choice and anti-abortion lawmakers in North Carolina and across the country continue to impose a broad range of restrictions on access to abortion including:
- Abortion bans that block legal abortion or that block safe abortion procedures
- Insurance coverage bans that make it more difficult or impossible to afford abortion care
- Unnecessary regulations that target abortion providers (TRAP laws) in an attempt to close clinics
- Restrictions that make it difficult for low-income, rural, and immigrant residents from accessing abortion and other reproductive health care, including a 72-waiting period for an abortion
- Dangerous laws that jeopardize young people’s health and safety, including parental consent laws
- “Personhood” measures that would ban abortion
- Restrictions on access to RU 486 or medication abortion
- Refusal clauses that deny basic health services to patients
Anti-abortion forces also will harass and attempt to block patients, staff and volunteers from safely entering abortion clinics, including doing things like filming people entering the clinic, recording license plate numbers and sharing personal information about clinic staff and volunteers on social media. These same forces will set up fake health clinics (sometimes called “crisis pregnancy centers”) to shame, deceive and pressure people to not seek abortion even if that is what they have decided to do. In North Carolina, our state legislature has given these fake clinics increasing amounts of tax dollars in an attempt to block access to safe and legal abortion.
NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina will continue to fight to keep abortion safe and legal for all, regardless of ZIP code, income, insurance coverage or citizenship status. We will mobilize together to defeat attacks in the state legislature, educate and mobilize North Carolina’s pro-choice majority to elect pro-choice leaders, and advocate for laws and polices that protect and expand everyone’s access to reproductive health care. We envision a world where all North Carolina residents are empowered, trusted and supported to make the reproductive decisions best for themselves, including accessing quality abortion care.