Lela Johnston, a Recent Alumna of NC State University and NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina Intern
So we’re all clear, during a 2012 debate, our Governor Pat McCrory was asked, “If you’re elected governor, what further restrictions on abortion would you agree to sign?”. His one-word response? “None.”
Today, I speak to you as a native North Carolinian, as a graduate of Wake County Public School Systems, as a very recent alumna of North Carolina State University, as a former intern with NARAL North Carolina, as a woman, and as a human being, to ask Governor McCrory to keep that promise. HB 465 is bad medicine and bad politics. State-mandated waiting periods are medically unnecessary, intrusive, and demeaning.
The decision how and when to start a family should be my choice and my choice alone. Reproductive decisions extend far beyond the doctor’s office. A woman’s right to control her reproductive health is the most basic and critical element of her autonomy. Without this fundamental human right, my independence is threatened, and ultimately, political, economic, and social gender equality is still just a distant possibility.
And not only that, aren’t there more important issues our legislature should be focusing on? Expanding Medicaid, closing the wage gap, updating our transportation systems, raising the minimum wage, cleaning up the Dan River, improving our public schools, paying our teachers salaries they deserve, and ensuring that all those who wish to go to college can afford to do so, is just the short list. The people of North Carolina deserve better. I deserve better. I deserve to live in a state that allows me to make my own healthcare choices, free from coercion and intrusive regulation.
I may not have had a vote in HB 465, but I do have a voice. And, I’m here today to use that voice to urge our Governor to veto this harmful bill. Please keep your promise, Governor McCrory.