By L.A. Williams
Christian Action League
July 8, 2022
Already reporting an increase in out-of-state women seeking abortions, North Carolina may become even more of a magnet for those supporting the fatal procedure since Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order Wednesday that guarantees special protections for both abortion providers and seekers.
Flanked by Planned Parenthood officials who proclaimed the state a “critical access point for the entire region,” Cooper signed the order that bars cabinet agency employees, including those in the departments of Health and Human Services and Public Safety, from using state resources to further any investigation aimed at imposing civil or criminal liability or professional sanction on people or entities that offer abortions that are legal in North Carolina.
The order also states that North Carolina will “decline requests for the extradition of any person charged with a criminal violation in another state where the violation alleged arises out of the inquiry into, provision of, assistance with, securing of, or receipt of reproductive health care services that are lawful in North Carolina, unless the acts forming the basis of the prosecution of the crime charged would also constitute a criminal offense under North Carolina law.”
Further, the three-page decree orders the state’s Department of Public Safety to work with law enforcement agencies to remind them about laws that already ensure that clients can access abortion clinics.
“We want to make sure that law enforcement is fully aware of this legislation that makes it a crime to block access to a health care facility. We know that law enforcement wants to make sure they respect the First Amendment and allow people to protest,” Cooper told the media. “At the same time, if we’re talking about specific patients trying to get into that facility and that access is blocked, it’s important for law enforcement to step up.”
Cooper’s order also prohibits Cabinet Agencies from requiring that their pregnant employees travel to a state that has abortion laws that they don’t like.
“If a pregnant state employee needs to travel to another state, then if that employee is concerned about the laws in that state as they relate to the mother’s health — if that employee is concerned about that — then she doesn’t have to be required to make that trip out of state,” the governor explained.
He has vowed to “hold the line to protect women’s reproductive freedom in our state” and predicts that over the next year there will be an influx of an additional 10,000 women from states that have bans and tighter restrictions coming to North Carolina for abortions.
“Reproductive freedom should never be defined as child-killing rights, which is what this Governor is doubling down on. The right to control one’s body should not be a right to harm or oppress others for one’s own advantage,” said Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “Reproduction happens at conception, not birth, and science has clarified this. What is in the womb is a living person. No one opposes a woman’s right to reproduce. What should be vigorously opposed is the so-called right to destroy life after reproduction has already occurred.”
Creech added, “Before she is pregnant, a woman already has two inviolable rights, except in the very rare case of rape. She has the freedom to choose whether or not she wants to have sex or use birth control. But suppose she abuses this freedom by ignoring the heavy responsibility that comes with it. In that case, she will usher in a different scenario where her personal preferences and another person’s life are now at stake. Reproductive freedom should not be understood as the liberty to do whatever one wants to do – freedom never works that way – and reproductive freedom is no different – regardless of the voices that say otherwise.”
The Tar Heel state requires a three-day waiting period for abortion seekers and limits abortions after 20 weeks. While many Republican lawmakers would like to pass legislation limiting it further in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, they lack the super-majority needed to override the veto promised by Cooper. However, many hope that could change with the next election. The GOP needs three seats to get a supermajority in the House, and two seats to do so in the Senate.