The Invasion of Women’s Bodies continues in North Carolina
by Elsa Roberts, follow her on Twitter
North Carolina legislators continued their underhanded attack on women’s reproductive rights yesterday with a sleight-of-hand move, transferring the anti-abortion language on HB 695 to a motorcycle safety bill (SB 353) early yesterday morning. This surprise move includes citizens being denied their right to speak; there is a three hour comment period today, but it is only open to representatives, many of whom have done a very poor job representing – as the continued Moral Monday protests demonstrate.
Suzanne Buckley, Executive Director of NARAL North Carolina, expressed the anger many in NC, and concerned citizens across the country feel, stating,
the process this legislation has taken shows an utter disregard for women’s health and safety. This is not the kind of leadership North Carolina voters deserve. The women’s health advocates and reproductive rights supporters who have showed up at the NCGA every day this week to protest HB 695 will not be silenced by empty promises or word-games, and they will not be fooled by claims that SB 353 is somehow a pro-women bill.
It is clear that NC legislators are determined to stomp out women’s reproductive rights, despite the will of the people and the disastrous effects it will have on women’s life and health. Secular Woman President, Kim Rippere, urges women from around the U.S. to “stand with NC and continue to fight.” She reminds us that this bill and other’s like it are “part of a concerted effort by theocratic politicians to push through religious based legislation nationwide, from Texas to Ohio to North Carolina.” She continues, “We must fight against this trend to legislate religious based ideology into women’s uteri and lives and maintain a firm separation of church and state.”
North Carolina lawmakers are barely adhering to an appearance of process, restricting and outright denying public comment, switching language to new bills with only a moment’s notice, and restricting the audience to an unreasonable degree (no laughter or clapping in hearings). “They have made it clear that injecting their religious beliefs into bills is more important than representing the people they were elected to and upholding the constitution and women’s rights,” states Secular Woman President Kim Rippere.
These laws, if passed, cannot stand. They fly in the face of women’s constitutional rights and years of court precedent. Secular Woman looks forward to the injunctions sure to be placed on legislation of this type and of the courts upholding women’s right to bodily autonomy.
With these continued roadblocks and underhanded moves state lawmakers hope to wear women and their supporters down, but we can’t let that happen! To hold on to our rights and reject the insertion of religion into our bodies we must remain vigilant and continue to keep up the pressure, in North Carolina and across the country. We must Stand With Women! Take action and contact Governor McCrory and spread the word on what is happening in North Carolina.