Source: Fayetteville Observer
Reporting by Axios found that North Carolina remained the South’s destination for abortions in the first six months of this year. Amid state Republicans debating on the severity of restrictions, the state witnessed an influx of out-of-state patients seeking reproductive health care access, according to an analysis from the Guttmacher Institute.
Since the overturn of Roe v. Wade, 22 states have banned or passed laws restricting abortions. For North Carolina, a 12-week abortion ban went into effect back in July, further limiting access to reproductive health care for millions in the southeast region of the U.S.
According to a National Partnership for Women & Families analysis, state abortion bans harm more than 15 million Black and Brown women.
“Women of color face more structural barriers to care to begin with, and those inequities are exacerbated when these policies further diminish their power and bodily autonomy,” stated Dr. Wizdom Powell, chief social impact and diversity officer at Headspace Health. “You end up having a domino effect of negative impact on women’s overall health and well-being.”
The Dobbs decision weighs heavy for more than 1.3 million transgender adults and 1.2 million LGBTQ nonbinary adults in the U.S., who are impacted by harmful biases, including through difficulty accessing gender-affirming medical care.
“In an effort to prohibit abortions, legislative bodies around the country have created chaos and danger to the health of many other women as well,” wrote Roberta Waddle, former chair of the Cumberland County Democratic Party, in a recent editorial. “Women’s lives and health are being endangered by the restrictions on abortions”.
Since its passage in July, the abortion ban has been challenged by a Duke doctor, Beverly Gray, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, who successfully blocked one provision of the law and potentially two more.
“It was very frustrating that the voices of the medical community were not heard when this law was being written.” Gray wrote on her website. “I was hopeful that the veto would be upheld, and we could continue to practice evidence-based medicine in our state.”
“Our goal is to reduce harm from the bill and bring clarity to contradictory areas of the bill,” Gray added.
Similar to North Carolina, the fight over abortion access is taking place in courtrooms across the U.S., where advocates are challenging restrictions and are suing to block bans.
Currently, more than a dozen states have abortion care protections.