Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


NOW IT'S THE VOTERS' TURN ON THE STATUS OF ABORTION: Those in power in North Carolina’s legislature pledge to do the opposite of what the people they represent want. State Senate Leader Phil Berger said the legislature will take “immediate action” to further restrict the state’s current abortion laws. Those current laws include requirements that patients undergo an ultrasound examination and receive information designed to discourage abortions and a 72-hour waiting period before a woman can have an abortion. House Speaker Tim Moore explicitly promised further abortion restrictions. “Pro-life protections to be a top priority of the legislature when we return to our normal legislative session in January,” Moore said. It is no exaggeration to say that “Roe is on the ballot.” North Carolina voters will elect members of the state legislature, U.S. House of Representatives and a U.S. senator along with key judges on the state Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. We need to make sure that when January rolls around, BergerMoore simply won't have any viable options to further restrict abortions in North Carolina. That means paying close attention to the 170 General Assembly seats in play, as well as the appellate court seats being fought over. I have not forgotten the Federal races; I just wanted to make sure readers don't forget how critical our state races are. Now more than ever.

SCOTUS overturns Roe v. Wade

Will NC be the first stop on a new underground railroad?

Its impact will spread far beyond Mississippi’s 15-week abortion law. By renouncing Roe and Casey (and decades of other abortion cases that relied on those decisions), the decision permits states to implement far more restrictive abortion laws. Mississippi itself has indicated that it will enforce a different state law, passed in 2007, that prohibits virtually all abortions, except to save the life of the mother or in cases involving rape. A dozen other states have passed similar legislation, known as “trigger laws” because they were drafted to go into effect if Roe and Casey were overturned. An analysis by the Guttmacher Institute predicts that 26 states are likely to ban all or nearly all abortions.

By now everybody reading this is already aware of the Court's ruling. While the anger and frustration will be with us for a long time, we need to start looking at practical measures, strategic measures, that will provide as much assistance to women as possible. As you can see from the map, North Carolina (and Virginia) will soon be the Southeast's only option for women seeking an abortion. But many of them are going to need help accessing that right:

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


DEAL TO CURB GUN VIOLENCE IS BARELY A TOKEN EFFORT. MUCH MORE NEEDED NOW: It would be generous to describe as even incremental progress, the bipartisan response to the recent spate of mass shootings – including the assault-style rifle enabled slaughter of 21 at the elementary school in Uvalde, Texas and before that 10 dead at a Buffalo, N.Y. grocery store. They don’t even make modest progress toward stopping access to automatic-style weapons. There is some small progress. For that, we should be tepidly thankful? But the problems generated by the easy access to weapons whose only purpose is mass destruction is not going away with this latest action. It will not defuse it as an issue in the fall elections. Banning assault weapons is NOT an attack on the 2nd Amendment. It is about protecting public safety and health. When 57% of American parents and 51% of North Carolinians are worried that there will be a shooting at their child’s school, Congress is doing little to comfort and reassure them. How much power does the NRA have to block any meaningful efforts to control these deadly assault weapons? When North Carolinians cast ballots in the fall, it should be clearly for those who will work to ban assault weapons in Congress or in the state legislature. And they most certainly should not vote for candidates who pose for pictures holding assault rifles, or political parties who make them raffle prizes.


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