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Republican Abortion Ban Harms Local and Small Businesses

Source: The News & Observer

Since the introduction of abortion bans during the latest legislative session,  businesses across the state have condemned efforts to strip away reproductive freedom.

Business executives have been vocal about the impact of abortion restrictions on the state’s future and economy; with over 200 local companies and businesses signing a petition urging lawmakers to keep the veto of Senate Bill 20 back in May.

“Public policies that restrict reproductive health care and discriminate against LGBTQIA+ people go against our values and are bad for business and for North Carolina,” the petition stated. “We encourage each of you to weigh the costs of extreme, dangerous legislation to our economy, and we ask you to take action to stop any bill that further restricts reproductive health care or discriminates against LGBTQIA+ people.”

Despite major businesses joining the chorus of rejecting abortion restrictions, state Republicans pushed the controversial measure through with a veto override.

Since the bill’s passage, businesses have raised concerns about the new abortion law, fearing that the restrictions will dissuade companies from setting up shop in North Carolina.

According to The News & Observer, the new abortion law reminds business leaders of HB 2, “bathroom bill,” which prevented transgender North Carolinians from using public restrooms that aligned with their gender identity.

The notorious legislation resulted in the state losing more than $3.76 billion in lost business, according to an Associated Press analysis

For local business leaders like Rebecca Couch, chief operating officer of Trophy Brewing, the new abortion ban, much like HB2, may have tourists thinking twice about visiting the state; putting a strain on local businesses and restaurants.

“They’re not looking at us like they would have, as this developing state that has so much to offer,” Couch told The News & Observer.

A poll from last year conducted by the research firm Morning Consult found that 52% of employed adults prefer to live in a state where abortion is legal, compared with 24% who preferred to live in a state where abortion is illegal.

The poll also found that among current students age 18 and above, the gap was wider: 78% preferred to live in a state with legal abortion.

“It’s important to feel safe to go to work and keeping jobs in North Carolina,” Leia Charnin, psychologist and owner for ChangeWell Psych, told The Charlotte Observer. “The perception of discrimination is distressing to employees”.

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