North Carolina ‘conservatives’ are swiftly moving an abortion-restrictions bill through the state House this week, saying the legislation would protect both civil rights and people with disabilities. But that’s not true. In fact, leading disability justice groups, like Disability Rights NC, oppose this bill. This is yet another bill with an inflammatory title, Human Life Non-Discrimination/No Eugenics Act (HB453,) which would prohibit abortion on account of the actual or presumed racial identity of the fetus and in cases where Down syndrome is detected or suspected. What House Bill 453 actually does is set up a process to force physicians to formally question and document women’s reasons for getting abortions, while ignoring real discrimination against people with disabilities. It also makes public records of these statements and the doctors performing abortions with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in addition to ultrasounds, which are already being sent to DHHS for abortions done after the sixteenth week of a woman’s pregnancy.
North Carolina has a Black maternal health crisis in as well as gaps in reproductive health care that was further exposed during the pandemic. The maternal death rate is especially high in North Carolina. North Carolina ranks 30th out of the 50 states. Nationally Black women are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related issues than white or Hispanic women. The United States has the highest maternal death rate of all the Western democracies, and, most alarmingly, the rate has been rising.
North Carolina NOW supports the passage of the North Carolina Momnibus Act (SB632/HB 507) that targets the Black maternal health crisis in the state and addresses the gaps in reproductive health care during the pandemic. Here is an action for you to take to push our representatives to end the Black maternal health crisis NOW!
Advocates from NC National Organization of Women, NARAL Pro-Choice NC, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, Action NC, Tuesdays with Tillis, MomsRisingNC and others rallied outside of Senator Thom Tillis’ Raleigh office to demand an end to policies which restrict women’s access to reproductive and other health care. Threats range from various bills banning abortions, to giving away taxpayer money to religious anti-abortion clinics, to cutting off a trusted and proven provider of real medical care to the women most impacted by attacks on reproductive health access.
Dani Hoffpauir speaking about Planned Parenthood and Title X – Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga
“Abortion Is Healthcare” was the theme of the 125th week of rallies at Senator Thom Tillis’ office in Raleigh. This event included national, statewide and local updates on abortion and clinics access. Emcees and speakers included Gailya Paliga, President of NC NOW, Tara Romano, Executive Director of Naral Pro-choice North Carolina and Kelsea McLain, A Woman’s Choice of Raleigh.
Raleigh, NC, 5/20/19 Women and allies have quickly set up events across North Carolina and the country to fight back against these unconstitutional attempts to gut Roe, control women, and punish doctors. Conservative and sometimes frighteningly clueless lawmakers file and pass these bans in a country where rapists too often go free and domestic violence is rampant. Together we say: stop the abortion bans.And get to work addressing real problems!
The rally in Chapel Hill is one of at least eight #stopthebans events in North Carolina, organized in 7 cities. NC NOW is tracking these events at https://wp.me/p22b2e-24E.
Women are setting up rallies or protests around North Carolina and around the country for Tuesday, May 21, 2019 and Wednesday, May 22. Currently have 9 such rallies in 8 cities in NC (two in Greensboro). Asheville is doing their own on May 22.
A person can find the closest one to them at http://www.stopabortionbans.org/. This site has been running behind (probably due to so many protests being added!) If there isn’t an event near you yet, you can make your own and register it! Like the women’s marches.
Another bad abortion bill was introduced this week—there seems to be no end. This one, HB603, Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, is really yet another attempt to ban all abortions after 20 weeks with few exceptions. The excuse for banning these abortions, however, does not hold up under scientific scrutiny. Feeling pain at all requires development of a network of neurons along with development of the area of the brain needed to process the sensory data. While it is really impossible to determine what a fetus is experiencing, most studies show that there is not adequate physical development in a fetus to feel pain until 28-30 weeks. For a detailed examination of the evidence pro and con, see: https://www.factcheck.org/2015/05/does-a-fetus-feel-pain-at-20-weeks/