Celebrating Pro-Choice Champ, Representative Alma Adams

United States Representative Alma Adams, North Carolina 12th Congressional District


NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina would like to take a moment to recognize and thank Representative Alma Adams for speaking out against H.R. 36. Officially known as the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Act”, Representative Adams called it as it is, deeming it the “Painful and Oppressive to Women Act”.

Additionally, upon taking the floor in the House, Rep. Adams provided a voice of reason, stating that “H.R. 36 poses grave dangers to women and the American people will not be fooled. Women’s health and personal decisions should be between a woman, her family, and her doctor, not a male-dominated congress. Most abortions take place before 21 weeks, so many women who have abortions later in pregnancy do so because of medical complications and other barriers to access. H.R. 36 would harm women in need and increase obstacles to obtaining safe and legal abortions.”

See her complete floor speech here:

Thank you Rep. Adams for speaking up for women’s rights!

Health policies should be determined by medical experts, NOT politicians. Women must be trusted with their own bodies. As Representative Adams remarked, “Women’s personal health decisions are just that, personal!” Representative Adams we are proud to call you a North Carolinian and honored to name you a pro-choice champ!

North Carolina Catholic for Choice Speaks Out Against #HB465

Sarah J. Bucher, a Catholic for Choice from Raleigh, North Carolina 

cfcavatarAs a pro-choice Catholic, I feel the need to speak out against North Carolina House Bill 465, which triples the existing mandatory abortion waiting period. When policymakers create obstacles in reproductive healthcare, they fail to respect an individual’s moral decision making, and they place additional burdens on vulnerable women. I expect elected officials to speak up for the rights of every individual and to advocate for those who will suffer most if this legislation is allowed to pass. Women in North Carolina deserve no less.

To learn more about HB 465, read this Op-Ed by Dr. David Grimes and Dr. Amy Bryant.  

#HB465 is Bad Medicine and Bad Politics

“Keep Your Promise, McCrory” tour stop in Fayetteville: Speech by Raven Deas, NC State University Senior and NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina Intern 

I am a Fayetteville native, a North Carolina State University student, and for the past few months, an intern at NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina. At NARAL NC, we work every day to protect and advance the reproductive rights of North Carolinian women and families. Today, I am back in my hometown, as a concerned citizen. I’m worried that Governor McCrory doesn’t take his campaign promise seriously. As we all know, in 2012 Governor McCrory assured North Carolina voters that he would not allow any restrictions on abortion to become law once he was in office. Government-mandated waiting periods have no medical basis and are politically motivated.

Being raised in a military town, I grew up valuing bravery, respect, and of course freedom. Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of choice. Attending NC State has further instilled these values for me, but I have also learned so many new things. I’ve learned that I can’t stay silent on things that matter. I’ve learned that prohibiting doctors from learning how to perform abortions doesn’t improve patients safety. So, here’s me not staying silent and saying with conviction that abortion restrictions like state-mandated waiting periods are the wrong priority for my community. We have real problems facing our community that elected officials should be focusing on instead of restricting abortion access. We need our state legislators addressing issues like extending health care coverage to half a million North Carolinians by closing the Medicaid gap or improving our public education and university system.IMG_3308-1

House Bill 465 is bad medicine and bad politics that unnecessarily interferes with a woman’s ability to make the best health care decisions for herself and her family. I urge Governor McCrory to keep his campaign promise and not allow this harmful bill to become law. North Carolina is heading in the wrong direction restricting women’s access to health care, especially when there are pressing issues our state leaders should be focusing on instead. Thank you.

Raven will be joining NARAL Pro-Choice NC for the final rally of the “Keep Your Promise, McCrory” tour in Raleigh. 

Women’s History Month Highlight: Susan Hill

Hannah Osborne, Campus Organizer at NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina 

Susan Hill, a Durham native, a social worker, an abortion provider, an advocate, and a resilient and compassionate human being, worked tirelessly for the reproductive freedom ALL women. Weeks after the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, Susan worked with others to start and open the doors of the first abortion clinic in Florida. She was a woman of action. In her lifetime, she defended the freedom of thousands of women. At NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, we work to protect and advance the reproductive rights of women and families in our state. Her work serves as daily inspiration for us. Susan left an incredible legacy. It is our goal to make her work a truly living legacy. So, on this final day of Women’s History Month, we honor, celebrate, and remember Susan Hill.

Susan Hill fought to secure the rights of all women. I am grateful for her efforts, and I am here to defend her work. Based on recent events, it is clear that we cannot take human rights for granted. Just last week our state legislature introduced Senate Bill 604, containing new restrictions on abortion providers. Roe V. Wade did more than grant me equality to decide what is best for my body, it secured my freedom. But it did not secure every woman’s freedom. Susan Hill understood that the right to have an abortion does not guarantee the ability to access that right. So, in 1975 Susan established the National Women’s Health Organization, a group of abortion clinics in the most underserved areas of the country. With this work, she laid the legal foundation for access to abortion services around the United States.

Susan Hill 1-thumb-225x324-9092This blog has merely touched on Susan Hill’s work and impact. I encourage you to read more about her legacy. In addition, NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina invites you to join us for our 5th Annual Spring into Action: an evening in honor of Susan Hill. Dr. Willie Parker, one of two heroic doctors who travel to Mississippi’s last remaining abortion clinic to provide abortion care to women across the Deep South, will be this year’s keynote speaker. Like Susan Hill, Dr. Parker is unrelenting in his commitment to helping women and families, even in the face of grave danger.​ We will also present the 2015 Susan Hill Award to Dr. Ward Cates for his work his work as a researcher and tireless champion for access to safe and legal abortion care.

For Women’s History Month, we honor Susan Hill for establishing clinics across the South in the most underserved areas, protecting the freedom of women, and fighting for access. In her work, she encountered countless obstacles and faced personal danger, including death threats and harassment. Yet, she kept working! She kept working for the freedom of all women. Like Susan, we must keep working. Let us honor Susan and her legacy through our work.

Women’s History Month Highlight: Doctor Rebecca Gomperts

Anna Lobastova, Co-President of the Reproductive Justice Club at ASU and Appalachian State University Senior

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 21.6 million women experience unsafe abortions every year and 47,000 of these women die as a result of complications that arise from these procedures. Within both feminist and human rights discourses, safe and legal abortion is often regarded as an essential right that allows for people to preserve their health, economic stability, and bodily autonomy in the face of an often-desperate situation. However, not every country in the world recognizes legal abortion as an essential right that it is, leading to the colossal amount of injuries and deaths cited by WHO.

rebecca-gompertsDr. Rebecca Gomperts saw these global violations of human rights happening firsthand in her experience as an abortion provider. After spending time as a doctor on a ship for Greenpeace, she made the connection that there was a possibility for expanding international access to safe abortion without violating national laws or sovereignty. In 1999, she founded Women on Waves, an organization operating out of the Netherlands that sails around the world, providing services such as non-surgical abortion, contraception, and reproductive counseling on their ship. Because they operate out of international waters, people are able to obtain access without having to risk legal action that their country may otherwise impose on them.

Currently, Dr. Gomperts is the director of Women on Waves and is an excellent example of a woman making positive change in extremely trying circumstances. Aside from the under appreciation of abortion providers worldwide, she and Women on Waves face barriers such as the cost of running their organization, the intricate planning necessary for their work, and the inevitable issues they run into with foreign governments and global political differences. When Women on Waves sailed to Portugal, they were blocked from the port by a Portuguese Navy warship that had been ordered there by the conservative federal government. In Poland, her ship’s arrival was protested with the phrase “Welcome, Nazis”– an unfair comparison that was meant to sting, given the country’s history of suffering during World War II.

Even in often-oppressive political circumstances, Dr. Gomperts and Women on Waves continue to perform their incredibly challenging but incredibly necessary work, demonstrating that the fight for reproductive justice is alive and well. With heroes like Rebecca Gomperts and her organization, the future of reproductive health access looks brighter.