Raleigh — Politicians in the North Carolina General Assembly announced today that they would advance an abortion ban through the state legislature in the coming days which would eliminate access to care after only 12 weeks of pregnancy. The proposed ban will be attached to an unrelated bill on the safe surrender of infants during what’s known as a “conference committee,” a mechanism to subvert the democratic process and ram through the dangerous ban by eliminating committee hearings and any opportunity for public comment.
Banning abortion is deeply unpopular in North Carolina among a majority of voters, as well as a broad swath of businesses that have come out against attempts to eliminate access to care for people who need it. Already, nearly 150 small businesses across the state have signed onto the “Don’t Ban Equality in North Carolina” letter to make clear to state legislators that abortion bans will be harmful to North Carolina’s workforce and economy.
In response to the proposed ban, ACLU of North Carolina Senior Policy Counsel Liz Barber shared the following statement:
“Everyone deserves the freedom to make their own decisions about their bodies and their futures. Exercising that fundamental right requires safe, legal and equitable access to reproductive health care, including abortion. A person’s health should guide important medical decisions throughout their pregnancy, not politics.
“Don’t be fooled. This bill is neither moderate nor a compromise. The majority of North Carolinians do not support further restrictions on abortion access. Lawmakers are ignoring the democratic process in order to push through unpopular legislation against the will of the people. This comes amidst countless efforts from lawmakers to curtail voting rights and control legislative redistricting.
“Any ban on abortion is unacceptable. Everyone deserves the dignity and power to control if and when they want to be pregnant. These legislators would take that away.
“This bill will hurt people who already face systemic racism and discrimination in this state: communities of color, the LGBTQ+ community, undocumented immigrants, young people, those living in rural communities, people with disabilities, and people with low incomes. Fighting abortion restrictions like this one is essential to the fight for racial, economic, and gender justice.
“Furthermore, Black women disproportionately suffer from the severe maternal mortality crisis in this country and are three times more likely than white women to die during pregnancy or shortly after childbirth. Pregnancy is not a health-neutral event. Forcing someone to carry out a pregnancy against their will is a life-threatening human rights violation.
“We will never stop fighting to protect bodily autonomy in North Carolina. And we hope that those who support civil rights and liberties will stand with us.”
You can use this link to contact your legislators and tell them to vote no on SB20.
Additionally, if you’re concerned about accessing abortion care in North Carolina, you can visit our abortion guide. While the legislature is attempting to push abortion care out of reach, abortion is still legal in North Carolina, and you have a right to access the care you need.