Governor Cooper, Attorney General Stein Take Critical Steps to Protect North Carolinians’ Reproductive Rights

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, top North Carolina Democrats, including Governor Cooper and Attorney General Stein, are taking critical steps to protect North Carolinians’ reproductive rights as North Carolina Republicans, including U.S. Senate candidate and Congressman Ted Budd, push an extreme agenda to restrict abortion in our state with no exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother

While abortion is still legal in North Carolina, Governor Cooper’s veto power is the last line of defense. Yesterday, the Governor signed an Executive Order to protect abortion access in North Carolina. Last week, Attorney General Stein reaffirmed his commitment to protecting North Carolinians’ reproductive rights after North Carolina Republican legislative leaders called to reinstate a 20-week abortion ban. 

See below for more on Cooper and Stein’s steps to protect abortion in North Carolina: 

News & Observer: Cooper moves to protect abortion access in NC, including for travelers from out of state
… Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday said he’ll continue to fight for abortion rights and signed an executive order aimed to protect access to services in the state. He said states are “taking our country backward to the ‘50s and ‘60s where women died in back alleys.”

Dr. Katherine Farris, chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and a “proud provider of abortion care” in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, said that North Carolina “has emerged as a critical access point for the entire region.”

… The order also protects against extradition to other states, saying North Carolina will “decline requests for the extradition of any person charged with a criminal violation in another state where the violation alleged arises out of the inquiry into, provision of, assistance with, securing of, or receipt of reproductive health care services that are lawful in North Carolina, unless the acts forming the basis of the prosecution of the crime charged would also constitute a criminal offense under North Carolina law.”


News & Observer: Josh Stein responds to GOP calls for NC’s 20-week abortion ban to be reinstated
Attorney General Josh Stein, responding to Republican legislative leaders on Friday, reiterated his “commitment” to protecting reproductive rights and said a legal review of the state’s 20-week ban on abortion would be completed in the “coming days and weeks.”

… “As Attorney General of North Carolina, I will continue to protect women’s reproductive rights under state law. This commitment is more important than ever,” Stein wrote in a letter to Berger and Moore. “Today there is an increasingly hostile environment toward women’s freedoms. States across this nation are banning abortions in all instances, including rape and incest. We cannot allow efforts to restrict women’s ability to make their own healthcare decisions to succeed in North Carolina.”


News & Record: Cooper moves to protect abortion access, including for women from out of state
Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order Wednesday shielding out-of-state abortion patients from extradition and prohibiting state agencies under his control from assisting other states trying to prosecute those who travel here for the procedure.

Cooper joined a growing number of Democratic governors seeking to offer sanctuary in the wake of the controversial U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning abortion protections.

The governors of Rhode Island and Maine signed executive orders late Tuesday, stating that they, too, will not cooperate with other states’ investigations into people who seek abortions or health care providers that perform them.


Spectrum News: N.C. attorney general doesn’t commit to lift 20-week abortion ban injunction
Facing an ultimatum from Republicans following the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning abortion protections, North Carolina’s Democratic attorney general on Friday declined to immediately seek enforcement of a 20-week abortion ban previously thrown out by courts.

… Stein reaffirmed his commitment to protect reproductive rights under state law in what he called “an increasingly hostile environment toward women’s freedoms.”

“We cannot allow efforts to restrict women’s ability to make their own health care decisions to succeed in North Carolina,” he wrote.


The Daily Tar Heel: Gov. Roy Cooper signs executive order protecting abortion access in N.C.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order that will protect reproductive freedom and abortion access in North Carolina.  

Planned Parenthood Action President Alexis McGill Johnson, as well as other advocates, joined Cooper. 

The executive order comes in response to the United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the federal right to abortion.

“Politicians should not be in that exam room with a patient and her doctor,” Cooper said at the press conference. “I will never back down when women’s health is on the line.”


WGHP: NC Gov. Roy Cooper signs executive order to protect women’s rights to abortion
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 263 on Wednesday that would “take several steps to defend access to reproductive health services in North Carolina.”

“The Supreme Court ripped away the constitutional right to reproductive freedom that women have relied on for five decades,” said Governor Cooper. “For now, it’s up to the states to determine whether women get reproductive health care, and in North Carolina they still can, thanks to my veto and enough legislative votes to sustain it. I am determined to keep it that way and people need to know that their votes in state legislative races this November will determine the fate of women’s health and freedom in our state.”


WSOC: Cooper signs executive order to protect abortion providers, patients who travel from other states
Democratic governors in states where abortion will remain legal are looking for ways to protect any patients who travel there for the procedure — along with the providers who help them — from being prosecuted by their home states.

In North Carolina, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order Wednesday to protect abortion providers and patients from extradition to states that have banned the practice. Abortions are legal in North Carolina until fetal viability or in certain medical emergencies, making the state an outlier in the Southeast.

“This order will help protect North Carolina doctors and nurses and their patients from cruel right-wing criminal laws passed by other states,” Cooper said in announcing the order.



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