Reproductive freedom is on the line in NC

In case you missed it, be sure to check out this morning’s essay in Raleigh’s News & Observer by UNC law professor and constitutional scholar Gene Nichol. As Nichol explains in “Women’s reproductive freedom is on the ballot in North Carolina,” the U.S. Supreme Court’s impending ruling on the survival of Roe v. Wade is likely to leave the future of abortion rights in our state swaying in the wind when voters go the polls this fall.

What’s more, Nichol notes, the current composition of the General Assembly does not inspire grounds for much optimism. After noting the widespread assumption in many corners that it’s simply unfathomable that elected leaders would take away the basic human right of control over one’s own reproduction, he offers this sobering conclusion:

It’s not possible, the assumption seemingly goes, that in the United States the government will intrude so profoundly, so irrefutably, so unilaterally on our most intimate, affecting decisions. We aren’t statists, after all.

Aren’t we the ones who so profoundly mistrust the wielders of government power? Don’t we rebel at the idea of the controlling and interventionist bureaucrat? The one who will tell us, with such finality, what’s good for us and for the world?

I don’t know if most readers of this paper are actually familiar with the folks who represent them in the N.C. General Assembly. Given my odd career, I’ve come to know a lot of them. I can say, with unyielding certainty, that there are not many human rosters I would so profoundly distrust to make important decisions about my life, or the lives of my loved ones.

Like Twain put it, these budding authoritarians are convinced that “nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.” Vote like your freedom depends on it. You guessed it.

Click here to read the entire essay.

And if you’d like to acquire an even fuller understanding of the state of the abortion rights debate in our state, there’s still time to register for this afternoon’s NC Policy Watch Crucial Conversation, “The current and future state of abortion access in North Carolina.” We’ll have a stellar panel of experts that will include:

  • Camille Adair of the Carolina Abortion Fund is a full spectrum doula serving the Triad and surrounding areas of North Carolina since 2017. She launched herself into reproductive justice after the birth of her only child, hoping to prevent folks from encountering transitions alone.
  • Maya Hart, North Carolina Coordinator with SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, is a Black queer mama, organizer, and birth worker based in Durham, NC. Maya believes that we have the skills, knowledge and love necessary to keep our communities safe and provide the support needed to care for our babies, children, and families.
  • Ann Webb is the Senior Policy Counsel with the ACLU of North Carolina, where she advocates for civil rights and civil liberties in the NC General Assembly, the courts, and throughout the state.

And moderator:

  • Tara Romano, Executive Director with Pro-Choice North Carolina, has been a gender equity advocate in North Carolina for nearly two decades and has led Pro-Choice North Carolina’s efforts to achieve reproductive freedom for all since 2016.

Click here to learn more about and register for this event.

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