Future of abortion in NC hinges on just a handful of legislative races

Future of abortion in NC hinges on just a handful of legislative races

Even though some abortion rights in North Carolina have recently been rolled back, our state is still seen as a haven for people seeking reproductive care throughout the South – but that could change very quickly if Republicans are able to flip just five seats total in the legislature.

More than 33% of patients seeking abortion care in North Carolina in August came from out of state. That number was 14% in June. As other states in the South continue to restrict or ban abortions, the number of patients coming to our state will increase – unless Republicans have their say here.

  • Republicans currently control the legislature, but without a supermajority, Gov. Roy Cooper still has veto power over any bills they pass. If Republicans flip just two seats in the Senate and three in the House we will have the scenario of a veto-proof supermajority for the NCGOP – with Republicans’ first move almost certainly being the passage of severe restrictions on abortion.
  • It’s no mystery what will happen to abortion rights if Republicans gain a supermajority. It’s just a question of how bad it will get. Senate leader Phil Berger has said he supports a ban on abortion after the first trimester, and House Speaker Tim Moore wants to ban them at around six weeks of pregnancy.
  • Instead of focusing on issues like Medicaid expansion or adequately funding public schools with money from the Leandro plan, the NCGOP is too busy salivating at the prospect of doing something North Carolinians have no interest in. A poll conducted in August found that 55% of North Carolinians either thought the current abortion laws are “about right” or they wanted even fewer restrictions.

State legislative races don’t often get the press coverage or attention from voters they deserve. Voters need to know that every state Senate and House race this fall is going to be integral to keeping abortion legal in North Carolina. Voters must understand the importance of these often overlooked races.

Patrick Zarcone

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