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Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade; Future of abortion access in NC depends on results of November elections 

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Raleigh, N.C. — Today, the Supreme Court overturned nearly 50 years of precedent and eliminated the constitutional right to abortion. This final decision comes more than seven weeks after the leaked draft decision and could lead to 26 states swiftly moving to ban abortion. In North Carolina, abortion remains legal although difficult to access due to many restrictions in state law.

The consequences of this decision will fall largely on people who already face the greatest barriers to health care due to this country’s legacy of racism and discrimination, including Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities, people with low incomes, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, and people living in rural areas.

“For now, abortion is still legal in North Carolina,” said Jenny Black, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic. “But this dangerous and chilling decision will have devastating consequences across the South, forcing people to travel hundreds, sometimes thousands, of miles for abortion care or potentially be forced to remain pregnant against their will. Our highest priority is making sure our patients can get the care they need. Our health center doors remain open, and we aren’t going anywhere.” 

“The Supreme Court has given politicians broad authority to control what we do with our bodies, sending the message that we can no longer be trusted to determine the course of our own lives,” said Jillian Riley, Director of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic in North Carolina. “While abortion remains legal in North Carolina, our access here is hanging by a thread, and it all depends on the outcome of the November elections. Reproductive freedom is on the ballot for North Carolinians, and who we elect to the General Assembly will determine the future of abortion access for generations.”

The court’s decision goes against the will of the American people, 80% of whom support legal abortion. According to The Turnaway Study, “women experience harm from being denied a wanted abortion,” including threats to their physical and mental health, economic insecurity, and unstable living conditions.

In North Carolina, there are 14 clinics that provide abortion care. Many patients who already face barriers to health care due to systemic discrimination and racism — especially those in the Black, Latino, or Indigenous communities, LGBTQ+ community, people with lower incomes, who live in rural areas, or who are young — will be harmed the most by a ban. While some patients have or will find the resources to travel out of state for their abortions, many will not. 

People in need of abortion care can visit abortionfinder.org to find a provider near them.