NC faith leaders hold abortion access event in Raleigh as Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson continues to use his religion to attack women’s rights

NC faith leaders hold abortion access event in Raleigh as Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson continues to use his religion to attack women’s rights

Monday marked the 51st anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion and gave women the right to control their bodies. On June 24, we will mark two years since the current Supreme Court overturned Roe.

Since the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, many states have severely restricted or outright banned abortion procedures. North Carolina’s legislature, which has a Republican supermajority, passed a 12-week abortion ban over Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto. The battle for reproductive freedom and access to reproductive care is once again being fought here and in other states.

To mark the anniversary of Roe on Monday, faith leaders from across the state came to Raleigh to hold a rally called “People of Faith for Abortion Access” outside the North Carolina General Assembly.

Those who spoke made it clear that despite how many Republicans portray themselves as being very religious (and therefore say they can’t support abortion), faith leaders are not all opposed to reproductive freedom. Many speakers talked about how their religious beliefs back up their support of abortion rights.

Rev. CJ Brinson, a community organizer with Down Home North Carolina, highlighted the impact of religious extremism during his speech and pointed out the hypocrisy of these politicians who only “care” about children before they’re born and not after.

“[B]ecause of religious extremism, abortion, which is a health care issue for women, is under the threat of being restricted by legislative bodies held in majority by men here in this state,” he said. “These same politicians and religious leaders continue to create policies, stand by policies, that destroy the lives of children.”

Rabbi Solomon Hoffman explained in his speech how Judaism views abortion.

“Jewish tradition makes something very clear: abortion is permitted and even required in certain cases when the health of the pregnant person is at risk. So for Jews, this is also an issue of religious freedom,” he said. “We must recognize that reproductive health care is life-saving in many cases.”

Unitarian Universalist Rev. Lisa Garcia Samson spoke out forcefully in support of reproductive rights and against efforts to restrict those rights.

“[W]e gather here at a dark moment in our history where bodily autonomy has been replaced with control and criminalization of birthing bodies,” Samson said. “This is the thing of nightmares and twisted science fiction, and this is the United States of America in 2024.”

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, a man who uses his Christian faith as a cudgel to bat away the ideas of women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, civil rights, religious freedom and social welfare, would have benefitted from attending Monday’s rally. The faith leaders who spoke all did so in direct opposition to Robinson and the beliefs he holds that are based on his interpretation of Christianity.

Robinson speaks at conservative churches throughout the state where he unleashes verbal assaults on anyone and everyone who doesn’t agree with him on topics ranging from abortion to guns to who a person loves. His version of Christianity is vastly different from the version that many of Monday’s speakers adhere to.

Just focusing on abortion, Robinson has previously said that he would ban abortion in all circumstances (including rape and incest) if he could get it passed through the legislature. He often compares abortion to murder and has said that once a woman is pregnant she no longer has a say over her bodily autonomy because her body is no longer her own.

And now, as we’re three weeks away from the start of early voting for the March 5 primary, Robinson is trying to pretend he “doesn’t recall” all the heinous things he’s said about abortion and those who support a person’s right to get the medical procedure if they so choose.

Unfortunately for Robinson, he’s a man who loves being on camera and speaking into a microphone, so as bad as he might like to claim his memory is, the receipts are easy to come by.

In case the lieutenant governor needs to jog his memory, he can watch this video to remind himself what he thinks about abortion.

“I want North Carolina to be the most pro-life state in the nation. Hands down. Abortion is murder. It’s a scourge on this nation. It needs to go,” he says at the 3-minute, 50-second mark in the video.

Robinson may want to take a look at the latest polling numbers about abortion rights in North Carolina because voters here are not in agreement with him on the issue.

Patrick Zarcone

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