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North Carolina Nurses Are Stepping Into Reproductive Rights Advocacy With New Group

Source: NC Health News

Established this past May, a new advocacy group composed solely of nurses will be advocating for the reproductive rights of all North Carolinians, according to NC Health News

The organization, NC Nurses for Reproductive Rights, will advocate for improved access to reproductive health care, including contraception, gender-affirming care, abortion and infertility treatments. It’s the only statewide group of nurses in North Carolina focused specifically on reproductive rights advocacy. 

NCNRR was created by Jill Sergison, a certified nurse-midwife. Sergison was one of nearly a thousand in attendance during Governor Cooper’s rally in May where he vetoed the abortion ban passed by Republican lawmakers. Cooper vetoed the bill surrounded by reproductive rights advocates, many of whom are doctors; Sergison noted the lack of nurses on stage and felt inspired to pull together a group of like-minded nurses focused on reproductive rights advocacy.

Since establishing the group, Sergison says that around 50 members have joined and word is still spreading. It is free to join NCNRR and membership is open to nurses of all designations.

NC Nurses for Reproductive Rights seeks to bring a new perspective to the table rather than dismiss or replace any already present, Sergison said. Nurses have long been left out of advocacy and policy spaces, and have unique insight from interactions with patients seeking reproductive healthcare that differ from those of other medical professionals.

While Sergison was inspired by the rally for reproductive rights, her creation of NCNRR could not be more timely; following Cooper’s veto of the abortion ban, Republican lawmakers were quick to utilize their supermajority to override the Governor’s veto. The abortion ban went into effect in July. 

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