Over the past two years we have witnessed more than 1,500 legislative attacks on women and health care, in all 50 states and at every level of government.
In North Carolina, we have seen attempts to deny women access to cervical cancer screening and birth control by voting to defund Planned Parenthood. We have witnessed our elected officials imposing regulations on doctors and medical providers that have absolutely nothing to do with protecting women’s health and everything to do with shutting abortion providers down. We have even seen the enactment of mandatory ultrasounds, which force a woman to succumb to a government-mandated procedure. We have seen the enactment of laws that use the state to funnel money to “crisis pregnancy centers,” facilities that prioritize ideology above women’s well-being and post-pone their access to legitimate health-care providers with potentially harmful results. Laws like these threaten women’s health as well as their liberty.
But there is something you can do: Vote.
Without health centers like Planned Parenthood, thousands of women in North Carolina will lose access to the low-cost health services they rely on for a wide-range of services from cancer screenings to prenatal care. This will lead to higher rates of unintended pregnancies, increased rates of sexually transmitted diseases, and — without adequate preventive care — increased emergency room visits and higher health care premiums. Mandatory ultrasounds and waiting periods not only undermine a woman’s individual liberty but they also have economic effects: A woman forced to drive two or three times longer to a health clinic will spend more money on gas (if she even has transportation), pay more in child care, take more time off from work, and have less to contribute to her local economy.
Elections matter. Those we elect on November 6 will have an unprecedented amount of control over women’s economic future, our access to health care and freedom to make personal, private decisions. Make your voice heard.