As the weather (hopefully) begins to cool, we are reflecting on all the wonderful work we accomplished this summer, and we wanted to take a moment to share it all with our supporters. Here’s what the ACLU of North Carolina team has been up to:
We’re still a line of defense for reproductive rights! This summer, we devoted energy and resources to address the devastating impacts of the Supreme Court Dobbs decision that effectively overturned Roe v. Wade and threatens body autonomy and reproductive justice.
We created an abortion toolkit to provide a comprehensive collection of information, resources, and action items for abortion in NC for our communities. We also organized events to train folks on how to host their own abortion house parties and help community members learn how to defend our bodies and our democracy. We will fight for reproductive rights the same way we always have – together.
Related to the renewed and invigorated attack on reproductive rights, we’ve been active in the conversation about and resistance to the newly reinstated 20-week abortion ban. The politicians passing abortion bans aren’t stopping here. They are also attacking our right to use birth control, who to love, our right to vote, protest, and control what we learn in the classroom. We at the ACLU will never stop fighting for every North Carolinian’s right to their own bodily autonomy.
Like so many of our supporters, we celebrated the LGBTQIA+ community at Pride events across the state this summer. We know the importance of LGBTQIA+ advocacy beyond June, and this year we published a spotlight on harmful legislation targeting LGBTQIA+ youth passed in NC and across the country.
Our Executive Director, Chantal Stevens, gave remarks at a press conference about the importance of unbiased and fair judges and courts. We helped organize a series of press conferences about imperative work to protect this pillar of our democracy. State courts, including those in North Carolina, hear 95 percent of all legal cases. State court judges are often the final deciders on crucial issues that affect our daily lives, such as voting rights, fair elections, and civil liberties. North Carolinians deserve nothing short of fair, impartial, and independent courts.
Let this speech from Deputy Director for Engagement and Mobilization Kristie Puckett-Williams move you!
Effective July 27th, 2022, any North Carolinian on probation, parole, or post-release supervision is immediately eligible to register and vote in North Carolina. This marks the largest expansion of voting rights since the 1960’s Voting Rights Act – extending the vote to 56,000 more North Carolinians. Restrictive voting laws disproportionately rob Black and Brown communities of their voices and participation in the democratic process. We have been working with Unlock Our Vote to support their work in reaching potential voters who have been incarcerated. You can read our blog post on the topic, More Black voters, More Perfect Union. Stay tuned as we support these voters by getting them registered!
On August 16th, the ACLU filed a motion on behalf of Brandon Hill, a Black man on death row, to stop the jury selection procedure known as “death disqualification,” which requires jurors to certify that they are willing to impose the death penalty in order to serve on capital juries. This practice maintains the disproportionate use of the death penalty against Black and Brown people and robs capital defendants of their right to a jury of their peers.
It was a busy summer with important work across our issue areas. As always, keep up with us on social media as we continue our work on behalf of our communities.