The Common Sense Foundation
CHOICE UNDER FIRE
We hear a lot about “freedom” these days from the far right, but freedom of choice is under assault in North Carolina like never before.
A woman’s right to choose abortion was established 32 years ago on the national level in the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. Since then, right-to-choose opponents have been methodically chipping away at this right through state acts that undermine the federal law.
In North Carolina, the religious right has taken advantage of the national media coverage surrounding the death of Laci Peterson and is pressuring the legislature to enact policies that would count the murder of a pregnant woman as two separate felonies – murder of the woman and of the fetus. By allowing for the idea that a fetus can be murdered, these laws essentially say that a fetus is a human being, which leaves the door open for the anti-choice crowd to claim that abortion is equivalent to murdering a human being.
There is also a movement in the General Assembly to eliminate funding for abortions under the State Health Plan, which would limit a woman’s options and especially affect low-income state employees who may not be able to afford to pay for an abortion.
Finally, a bill has been introduced that would allow pharmacists, due to moral objections, to refuse to provide emergency contraceptives, based on the assumption that these pills cause an abortion. However, emergency contraceptives do not cause an abortion; they prevent a pregnancy by not allowing a fertilized egg to become implanted in the uterus lining. Therefore, the use of emergency contraceptives would actually decrease the need for later abortions.
It’s not clear where these anti-choice measures will end up this session, but it definitely bears watching closely.
Consider This is brought to you three days a week by the Common Sense Foundation.