Durham, North Carolina — Today, NARAL Pro-Choice America and NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina published the 23rd edition of Who Decides? The Status of Women’s Reproductive Rights in the United States. The report, published each year, provides individual letter grades on the status of women’s reproductive rights for all 50 states and provides a comprehensive view of choice-related legislation and court decisions in those states. NC was scored as an anti-choice state for its 2013 legislative record on reproductive freedom, getting a letter grade of F.
“In 2013, extreme lawmakers railroaded through a series of new laws that are part of a nationwide, well-funded anti-woman agenda sweeping the nation. These laws are ill-conceived and out of touch with the majority of North Carolinians who believe lawmakers have no place in a woman’s personal, private reproductive decisions,” said Suzanne Buckley, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina. “In 2014, NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina is as committed as ever to holding the opponents of a woman’s right to choose accountable, and working hard to elect lawmaker who share our pro-choice values and belief that every woman should have not just the right, but the opportunity to make whatever decision is right for her.”
North Carolina is one of the twenty-four states nationwide that enacted anti-choice measures in 2013. During the 2013 legislative session, the NC General Assembly passed and the Governor McCrory signed three new anti-choice bills into law, despite his campaign promise to not support any additional restrictions on access to abortion in North Carolina. These laws require NC DHHS to create new restrictions on women’s health centers, ban women from obtaining comprehensive insurance coverage through North Carolina’s health care exchange that includes coverage for abortion care, even when they use their own money to purchase their plan. The law also strips over 370,000 city and county employees of access to comprehensive reproductive health insurance coverage that most Americans currently have through their employer-based insurance coverage.
In total, 24 states—AK, MT, ND, SD, CO, KS, OK. TX, IA, MO, AR, LA, WI, MI, IN, OH, PA, VA, NC, SC, GA, AL, MS—passed 53 anti-choice measures. The four primary types of laws restricting reproductive freedom included:
Banning abortion at different stages of pregnancy;
Banning insurance coverage of abortion;
Restricting abortion providers to close them down;
Helping anti-choice fake clinics called crisis pregnancy centers.
But the tide is turning, as elected officials like Texas state Senator Wendy Davis and Michigan state Senator Gretchen Whitmer took strong public stands to protect reproductive freedom. Ten states—AL, CA, CO, HI, IL, NH, TX, VA, VT, and WV—enacted a total of 15 pro-choice measures (twice as many as last year), fighting back against anti-choice extremists. (Source)
The full report is available at http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/government-and-you/who-decides/
Photo Credit: NARAL Pro-Choice NC
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