Thursday, May 16, 2024

Governor Cooper Vows to Protect Women’s Health Care One Year After SB20

May 16, 2024

One year ago today, North Carolina Republican legislators overrode Governor Roy Cooper’s veto of their abortion ban by one vote, putting reproductive care for millions of women in jeopardy. Today, Governor Cooper issued the following statement on the one-year anniversary of the veto override:

“Last year, every single Republican legislator, even those who promised not to further restrict a women's right to choose, voted to override my veto and now they're promising to come back after the election to make this abortion ban even worse,” said Governor Cooper. “Despite the constant push by Republicans to interfere with the doctor-patient relationship, I remain committed to doing everything I can do to protect women’s health care freedom in North Carolina.”

In the year since this harmful legislation became law, there have been damaging statewide impacts to the reproductive health care landscape in North Carolina. The state has seen a heightened shortage of OB-GYNs and primary care doctors who don’t want to practice in North Carolina due to fear of government prosecution for doing their jobs, and there has been a 6.4% drop in applications to OB-GYN residency programs in states with gestational limits on abortion, including North Carolina.

Just last month, a federal judge ruled that a number of provisions of North Carolina’s abortion ban pertaining to medication abortion are unconstitutional and preempted by federal law. The Governor’s Office continues to monitor this ongoing litigation.

The impacts of abortion bans in other states such as Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana have also placed greater strain on North Carolina’s reproductive health care systems. Meanwhile, Republican legislators have discussed the possibility of restricting reproductive health care in North Carolina even further in the coming months and years.

Read more about the impacts of SB20 below:

News & Observer: New abortion law drives out NC’s scarce supply of OB-GYNs & primary care doctors

Teddy Rosenbluth, September 22, 2023


The News & Observer interviewed several doctors at different stages of their careers — from those in the midst of training to those with well-established medical practices — who plan to take their expertise elsewhere due to the state’s new abortion laws.

These are not just doctors who have made abortions a central part of their jobs, though those doctors are leaving, too. They are primary care providers. They are rural obstetricians. The kinds of doctors that the state has a critical shortage of.

It’s too soon to know how many doctors will choose to leave, or how many will avoid moving to the state in the first place.

But in North Carolina — where almost a quarter of counties lack a single OB-GYN and more than 90% of counties are considered “primary care shortage areas” — losing a handful of doctors would have major consequences for the patients they leave behind.


Read the full article here.

WNCN: How do abortion bans affect doctors? UNC and Duke experts provide perspective 

Maggie Newland, February 14, 2024

Doctors who care for pregnant women say abortion laws are already impacting patients and physicians. Some worry that if stricter laws go into effect in North Carolina, fewer top-quality doctors will choose to practice in the state.

Dr. Beverly Gray is an OB-GYN with Duke Health. She delivers babies and provides pregnancy care and annual exams. She also provides abortions. Since North Carolina put a 12-week ban in place, she says patients often come in for abortions but can’t get them.

“We turn people away every week,” she said. “People don’t always understand what the laws are in North Carolina; sometimes people come in and they’re further along in their pregnancy than they realized.”


Read the full article here.

Axios: Florida's near-total abortion ban could push N.C. clinics to the brink

Alexandria Sands, April 22, 2024

As abortion access dwindles across the U.S., North Carolina clinics are running short on space, staff and time to care for the influx of patients.

Why it matters: North Carolina has been a refuge for people seeking abortion care in the South. Resources may be too strained — and new restrictions too tight — to consider that the case anymore.


Read the full article here.


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