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Paul Stam 2There was time not that long ago in the North Carolina General Assembly in which anti-choice conservatives were at least willing to be minimally consistent with the their claims of being “pro-life.”

Take State Rep. Paul Stam, for instance.

Stam has been in the General Assembly for a long time. Prior to his current series of half a dozen terms, the Wake County Republican also served during the 1989-90 legislative session. It was during that initial term that Stam first made his name as a crusader for right-wing social causes and, specifically, a passionate opposition to abortion.

Now, flash forward to 2013 and see that things aren’t much different. Stam is still leading the anti-choice charge (and the anti-gay rights charge and the pro-death penalty charge).  Along with many of his conservative colleagues, Stam is doing everything he can to make abortion more inaccessible, prevent LGBT equality and revive the death penalty.

Here’s one important difference, however, Read More

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Moral MondaysWhy I’m being arrested
By Carol Teal, citizen

This is not a decision I made lightly but in the end it’s one I made without hesitation.  Before getting to the essence of why, I had to attend to some practical matters. Did I have the support of my family? – yes. Would it affect my job? – no.  Could I post bail? – yes. 

It’s easier for me to do this than most people. I’m almost 60 years old, nearing the end of my career. I won’t lose my job. This is not a brave thing for me to do – just a necessary thing. 

Why is it necessary? Will this likely have an impact on the legislators making the decisions that I think are so harmful – probably not. Shouldn’t I honor the process of the last election that put all these people in office – absolutely. I do.

The real reason I’m doing this is I need to be a citizen today – in the most profound way possible. And I need to honor Gandhi and Martin Luther King and Jesus and do it in a serious nonviolent way.

What are the decisions this General Assembly has made that I find so troubling that I am willing to stand in front of the chamber doors blocking their way?

There are too many to enumerate here.  For now, I want to just share a few that are personal to me. Read More

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New from Planned Parenthood:

NC Senate Diverts Women’s Health Funds to Religious-based Non-Medical Provider
NC Senate budget provides $250,000 to umbrella group of so-called “crisis pregnancy centers”

Raleigh—The Senate budget being heard and voted on today diverts $250,000 from the Women’s Health Services Fund to go to the Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship, a religious-based group that provides staff training for so-called crisis pregnancy centers statewide. Republicans attempted to fund the Fellowship last legislative session through passage of Choose Life license plates, an effort stymied when federal court ruled the plates unconstitutional.  Read More

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Reproductive rights2FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 15, 2013            

ACLU: ‘Conscious Protection’ Bill Is Opposite of Religious Liberty
H.B. 730 Would Allow Public Hospital Employees to Refuse Abortion Care & Private Employers to Refuse Contraception Coverage for Women Because of Religious Beliefs

RALEIGH – A bill that would allow public hospital employees to refuse to participate in abortion care and private employers to deny contraception coverage to women because of their personal religious beliefs was approved by North Carolina House Judiciary Committee A today. House Bill 730 now heads to the full House for a vote.

In response, the ACLU of North Carolina (ACLU-NC) released the following statement: Read More

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In response to a controversial NC House bill that would impose new and unprecedented restrictions on the ability of teens to obtain health care services, Chapel Hill freelance writer Jennifer Ferris shared the following extremely personal, but powerful story with NC Policy Watch today. Thanks, Jennifer. 

A mom remembers    

Talking about teenagers and sexual health is not comfortable. And even less comfortable is the story I’m about to tell you. It’s one I’ve held tight to my chest these past 20 years, and I don’t savor breaking the “in case of emergency” glass I’ve placed it behind.

Deep sigh. Here goes.

The year was 1993. I was 16, an Honor Roll student and employee of the month at my job. I was also in a great deal of pain. Read More