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RALEIGH, N.C.— Today, Planned Parenthood Action Fund members joined together in North Carolina in support of reproductive rights, along with special guests Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Alexis McGill Johnson, U.S. Senate candidate Cheri Beasley, Congresswoman Deborah Ross, Governor Roy Cooper, Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic president and CEO Jenny Black, and others. Throughout the event, the speakers underscored what is at stake in this election for North Carolinians and why voters must elect reproductive rights champions at all levels of government.
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Must provide photo credit as: Amanda Rudd courtesy of Planned Parenthood Action Fund
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Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, North Carolina has become a critical access point in the South because many neighboring states have banned or severely restricted abortion access. The impact of abortion bans are far reaching, as people are forced to seek care outside of their state, adding pressure on neighboring health care systems and increasing wait times for vital, time-sensitive services. This is already happening in North Carolina, despite abortion providers’ best efforts to expand access and secure appointments for people seeking reproductive health care. The consequences of abortion bans continue to fall disproportionately on Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities, LGBTQ+ communities, people with low incomes, and people living in rural areas.
Abortion is currently accessible in North Carolina because Governor Cooper has vetoed every piece of anti-reproductive health legislation that has reached his desk. Since anti-abortion state legislators lost their supermajority in 2018, reproductive freedom champions in the General Assembly have been able to protect the governor's veto. But anti-abortion politicians have vowed to do everything they can to override Governor Cooper’s veto — meaning if they regain their supermajority, they could pass an abortion ban as soon as January.
At the federal level, Cheri Beasley would be a critical vote in the Senate to pass legislation that protects reproductive rights and abortion access, and Congresswoman Ross would continue her record of supporting access to sexual and reproductive health care.
Excerpt of comments from Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
“What is important is that you have these conversations. That you call somebody–that you say hey neighbor, hey friend, hey school mom, I have something really important to tell you: abortion’s on the ballot, freedom’s on the ballot, democracy is on the ballot. Remember those things when you have those conversations. State legislatures are important because of what needs to happen in the state, but the way to codify Roe is to send Cheri Beasley to the Senate. We’ve all got our assignments.”
Excerpt of comments from Cheri Beasley, candidate for U. S Senator from North Carolina:
“None of us signed up for easy when we signed up for this fight. We have 10 days, but it’s just enough time to activate the people around us. We need to talk about what matters most, and our freedom is what matters most.“
Excerpt of comments from Governor Cooper:
“The minute that the law went in place in Georgia…I talked to a provider in Georgia that said we have 1,500 patients we have to get to North Carolina within the next couple of weeks. North Carolina has become an access point. Our law is not perfect…but basic protections are there, and we need to keep them, and we need you to help us keep them…We’re not going to have the tools we need unless you all continue to step up the fight.”
Excerpt of comments from Congresswoman Ross:
“I am here to tell you that we have an opportunity to be on offense in Congress–to have a pro-choice Congress. For the first time in history, we have a pro-choice majority in the U.S. House…the cherry on top is that we can elect a pro-choice Democratic woman to the U.S. Senate.”
Excerpt of comments from Jenny Black, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic:
“We must elect champions to the state house and state senate who will protect Governor Cooper’s veto power and stop these attacks on our fundamental freedom like voting and access to the ballot box, LGBTQ equality — especially for youth who are transgender — immigrants’ rights, reproductive freedom, and more.”
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy, and limited electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.