After Roe overturned, NC congressman Greg Murphy posts offensive tweet

In the hours after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling about the constitutional right to an abortion, there have been countless reactions to the opinion on social media. But a hot take by U.S. Rep. Greg Murphy, representing parts of eastern North Carolina, raised some eyebrows:

A tweet, since deleted, from the congressman’s official Twitter account on Sunday read: “No one forces anyone to have sex.”

While Murphy or perhaps a staffer removed the tweet later in the day, Raleigh’s News & Observer called out the Third District congressman in its Monday editorial:

It should go without saying that people do force other people to have sex, and it sometimes does result in an unwanted pregnancy. Nearly one in five women has experienced completed or attempted rape during their lifetime, according to research from the CDC. Many men are victims of rape, too.

Rep. Murphy, who is a medical doctor, should also be aware that:

One in three female victims of rape or attempted rape experienced that assault for the first time between the ages of 11 and 17. (Source: National Crime Victimization Survey)

About 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys in the United States experience child sexual abuse. (Source: CDC)

The majority of sexual assaults often occur at or close to the victim’s home. Fifteen percent of cases occur in an open, public place. (Source: RAINN – Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)

In a 2019 study of college students at UNC-CH, more than 20% of the nearly 6,000 students who responded to a survey said they experienced sexual touching or penetration involving physical force and an inability to consent or stop what was happening. (Read more about the Association of American Universities’ (AAU) Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct here.)

The NC Council for Women and Youth Involvement (CFWYI) also compiles statistical data for domestic violence (DV) and sexual assault from their grantees. A few number from their latest data:

11,094 clients sought in person or remote help for sexual assault in North Carolina (June 2020-June 2021.)

1,297 of those clients were between the age of 0-12.

1,077 of those clients were between the age of 13-17.

368 of the clients seeking help were victims of human trafficking.

The NC Council for Women and Youth Involvement reports that of the reported offenders in cases of sexual assault, only 4% of the assaults were perpetuated by strangers.

As the Observer‘s editorial board rightly concludes:

Maybe in a perfect world, sexual assault survivors would never have to choose whether to terminate a pregnancy because they never would have been raped in the first place. But that’s not the world we live in. Murphy’s erasure of this reality is shameful and wholly unbecoming of any public official, let alone one who purports to use his medical expertise to advocate for his constituents.

Click here to read the full editorial online in the News & Observer.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can confidentially contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline for help 24/7: 800.656.HOPE (4673)

Roe overturned, Medicaid expansion talks revived, sports wagering folds (for now): The week’s top stories on Policy Watch

Click here to listen to the latest interviews and audio commentaries with NC Policy Watch director Rob Schofield.

11. Weekly Editorial Cartoon:

Read more about the series that inspired this cartoon

Photo gallery: Reaction to the overturning of Roe

Scenes from Raleigh’s Bicentennial mall on June 24th:

‘Disastrous’ and ‘unthinkable’ North Carolinians react to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday overturned the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, which established abortion as a constitutional right. The following is reaction to the ruling from a number of prominent North Carolinians:

From state House Rep. Julie von Haefen:

From state Senator Natalie Murdock:

From Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12):

From Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02):

Rep. Deborah Ross

“The bottom line is this: women will lose control over all aspects of their lives because of this decision.“The Supreme Court has done what many believed was unthinkable for nearly half a century. By overturning Roe v. Wade, they have stripped millions of women of a sacred constitutional right. And they did so even though the vast majority of Americans agree that women should have the right to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions. I fear for all our sisters and daughters and I fear for the state of North Carolina, where we will need to fight tooth and nail in the coming weeks and months to preserve access to abortion healthcare.“The people of North Carolina elected me to stand up for them, and I will not give up. I will not back down. I will join with people across our state from both political parties and from every walk of life. Together, we will keep fighting every day until all women have control over their own reproductive decisions.”

From US. Senate candidate and for NC Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley:

From state Senator Natasha Marcus:

“This is outrageous. The US Supreme Court has released a torrent of disrespectful rhetoric and a dangerous injustice with its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health today. Any American who might become pregnant, or anyone who cares about someone who could, should be very angry and very worried.  The Court has taken the alarming step of overturning precedents that have been in place for my entire lifetime in order to rip away women’s rights to maintain basic autonomy over our bodies.  The Dobbs decision has given a green light to forced births, maternal hardships, and rapists having more rights than the women they forcibly impregnate.  

It is hard to believe that this is America in 2022.  Women and girls in many states will immediately become second-class citizens, without the right to make decisions for themselves about whether and when to have a child. Women and girls in many other states, like North Carolina, won’t immediately lose their rights, but are now one bad election cycle away from losing them.  Instead of being the land of the free where all people are guaranteed liberty, America will now be a disturbing patchwork where women in some states are forced to continue unexpected, unviable, unsafe and/or unwanted pregnancies, while other states become crowded safe havens for abortion care refugees forced to flee in order to access the care they need. People, many of whom are already mothers, will die and suffer harm because of this terrible, unjust ruling by an activist Supreme Court. 

As a member of the North Carolina General Assembly, I call on legislative leaders to pass my bill, SB888, Codify Roe and Casey, to maintain the status quo on abortion access in North Carolina and make sure that North Carolinians can continue to access the reproductive healthcare that we need.  For now, abortion is still legal in North Carolina. We cannot slide backwards or allow the government to block people from making our own decisions about such deeply personal matters.”

From Buncombe County Commissioner and NC-11 congressional candidate Jasmine Beach-Ferrara:

 From NC Attorney General Josh Stein:

From Governor Roy Cooper:

“For 50 years, women have relied on their constitutional right to make their own medical decisions, but today that right has been tragically ripped away. That means it’s now up to the states to determine whether women get reproductive health care, and in North Carolina they still can. I will continue to trust women to make their own medical decisions as we fight to keep politicians out of the doctor’s exam room.”

From Congressman G.K. Butterfield:

From Anu Kumar, President and CEO of @IpasOrg

NC House members decline to gamble on ‘predatory’ sports wagering bill (w/ video)

Supporters of sports gambling failed to advance legislation in the state House Wednesday that would have authorized online sports wagering for North Carolina. The vote against Senate Bill 688 came after lawmakers narrowly approved a companion bill (SB 38) of sports wagering amendments.

But without both piece of legislation getting a joint nod from the House, it’s unclear what avenue bill sponsors will take in the waning days of the summer session.

Rep. Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford) said other states that have gone down this road have not had the payday they anticipated.

“The house is always going to win. North Carolinians are not going to win with this bill, and the argument that there’s offshore betting now and we should just do it and get the revenue, we know that offshore betting is going to continue because those companies are going to avoid paying the taxes and fees they are going to have to pay to do legalized betting.

“So, we’re not achieving anything except robbing North Carolinians of lots of money and funding the gambling industry. And we’re gonna have a lot of heartache and a lot of expense to our state and our taxpayers, and I can’t believe anybody can vote ‘yes’ for this bill.”

Rep. Pat Hurley (R-Randolph) was among more than 30 Republican members to join Harrison in opposing the fast-moving legislation, which cleared two committees earlier on Wednesday.

“Conservative estimates suggest North Carolina can expect to see tens of thousands more of our state’s citizens and their families being victimized by gambling addiction,” Hurley said. “What some people don’t even think about [it] adds to our social service budget.”

Rep. John Autry (D-Mecklenburg) dealt the bill another blow by successfully running an amendment that removed all college sports betting from the measure.

Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln), the chief proponent of the bill in the House, is now looking for another approach to legalize sports betting before the end of the session.

SB 38, the companion bill that did win approval on Wednesday, faces one more vote in the House before heading back to the Senate.