Women's health care and reproductive freedom are a top priority

Julie von Haefen has some things to say:

The 72-hour waiting period requires 43% of patients to travel considerable distances across county lines to access reproductive health care and thereby places an undue financial burden on women in our state who need safe and reliable access to family planning services. This requirement isolates rural women from their support systems and burdens them with more financial barriers to abortion access than other women in our state. Taking time off work and waiting three days to receive health care is extremely burdensome for many people in North Carolina, and is especially burdensome, if not impossible, during a pandemic. By repealing the counseling and 72-hour waiting period requirements, our state can break down the financial and political barriers that block many in our state from accessing the crucial reproductive health care they need.

Going into lecture mode now to air a Festivus grievance that has been bothering me for some time: Protecting a woman's right to choose is a core Progressive tenet. I don't care what other Progressive credentials you might burnish, if you choose to leave this one out, you have missed that boat completely. It's not a throwaway issue, something that can be casually disregarded, as I have seen as recently as 2-3 weeks ago. Lecture over, back to Julie:

As more and more North Carolinians are teetering on the edge of economic disaster because of the pandemic, we have to make sure that everyone has the freedom to decide if and when they are ready to have children without financial barriers, no matter where they live. We must make reproductive freedom a priority this year by passing legislation to eliminate the laws and barriers that have restricted women’s full and unencumbered access to reproductive health care.

Many obstacles stand between us and reproductive freedom. North Carolinians must hold their elected officials accountable and call on the General Assembly to enact policies that protect and support families through this challenging time. It’s time to demand that our leaders take swift action to advance reproductive freedom and ensure a healthier, stronger and more just future for North Carolina.

With our current U.S. Supreme Court's conservative bent, Roe v. Wade is in more jeopardy now than it ever has been. But if that body decides to overturn the ruling, it won't equate to a national abortion ban. They will leave it up to the states to decide, and it will only take a handful of Democratic lawmakers to give the GOP a Veto-proof majority when they inevitably act.

Fair warning: such an action will not be "casually disregarded" here at BlueNC. And neither will any rationalizations by supposedly Progressive folks who try to steer the conversation to other issues of "greater import." This is a line in the sand issue, make sure you're on the correct side.

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