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Reproductive Rights

The ACLU works to ensure that the government respects and supports reproductive freedom. We strive to secure a world that respects everyone's right to form intimate relationships and to decided whether and when to have children. 

GREENSBORO, NC – A federal district judge today struck down a North Carolina law requiring abortion providers to show a woman an ultrasound and describe the images in detail four hours before having an abortion, even if the woman objects.

The court ruled that key provisions of the law violate doctors’ free speech rights. The law was challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of North Carolina, the Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

“Today's court ruling protects the rights of women and their doctors from the ideological agenda of extremist lawmakers,” said Jennifer Rudinger, executive director of the ACLU of North Carolina. “If these unconstitutional measures had gone into effect, doctors would have been prevented from using their best medical judgment to provide patients with care based on their specific individual needs. This law represented an egregious government intrusion into individuals’ private medical decisions, and we are very pleased that it will not go into effect.”

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RALEIGH – Governor Pat McCrory signed a bill into law today that authorizes severe and medically unnecessary restrictions on women’s health clinics that provide abortions, officially breaking his 2012 campaign promise to sign no further restrictions on abortion. The law, which was included at the last minute as an amendment to a motorcycle safety bill, could block health centers from providing safe and legal abortion care. Doctors, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, oppose the bill because it interferes with the patient-physician relationship and harms the health of North Carolina women. 

“It is incredibly disappointing that Governor McCrory has broken his campaign promise and signed an extreme law that will severely restrict abortion access and comprehensive health care for countless North Carolina women,” said Sarah Preston, Policy Director of the ACLU of North Carolina. “Measures such as these, which can have a terribly detrimental impact on women’s access to much-needed health care, should not be rushed through the legislature with little opportunity for meaningful public input, as this one was.”

Thousands of North Carolinians contacted Governor McCrory asking him to veto and more than one hundred people were arrested as they protested the bill.  A recent poll shows that the Governor’s approval rating plummeted 15 percentage points after he indicated he would allow this bill to become law.

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RALEIGH - Tonight the North Carolina Senate approved S.B. 353, a bill that would place severe and unnecessary restrictions on clinics that provide abortion care and other health services. The bill now goes to Gov. Pat McCrory, who during his campaign said he would sign no further restrictions on abortion access. Thousands of North Carolinians have petitioned the governor in recent weeks to keep his promise and veto the bill.

"We are extremely disappointed that the Senate has once again approved legislation that will only make it harder for women’s health clinics to stay open and will do nothing to help provide comprehensive health care to the women of our state," said Sarah Preston, Policy Director for the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina. "This is the moment when Gov. McCrory must decide whether to keep his campaign promise not to support new restrictions on abortion access or to admit that he lied to women across North Carolina who may soon have to travel hundreds of miles in order to receive safe access to a constitutionally protected medical procedure. We join thousands of North Carolinians in asking the governor to stand up for women’s health, honor his campaign promise, and veto this legislation. The women of North Carolina and the nation are watching."

Please call Gov. McCrory at 919-814-2000 and ask him to keep his promise and veto S.B. 353.

RALEIGH - Today a group of North Carolina women -- including supporters, board members, and staff members of the ACLU of North Carolina -- hand-delivered a petition with more than 7,300 signatures to the office of Gov. Pat McCrory, asking the governor to “stand up for women’s health by honoring your promise not to support new restrictions on abortion access” and veto any legislation that comes across his desk that could restrict access to reproductive health care in North Carolina. The online petition was organized by ACLU Action and is still available here.

Earlier this month, more than 600 North Carolinians protested outside the state legislature just 12 hours after the North Carolina Senate approved sweeping restrictions on women’s health clinics without any public input or notice. The state House approved similar legislation on July 11 amid more protests. During his campaign last year, McCrory said he would not sign any additional restrictions on abortion access. “The women of North Carolina and the rest of the nation are watching to see where you stand,” the ACLU’s petition to McCrory reads.

Help us keep the pressure on Gov. McCrory to keep his promise by calling his office at 919-814-2000 or emailing him here.

RALEIGH – Today the North Carolina House of Representatives approved S.B. 353, a motorcycle safety bill that was rewritten to be one of the nation’s most sweeping proposals to place restrictions on abortion access and reproductive health care. It now heads to the Senate.

Sarah Preston, policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, released the following statement:

“It is extremely disappointing that House members have approved such sweeping restrictions on women’s health care options just one day after this proposal was unveiled to the public. This legislation is not designed to protect women’s health; it is designed to shut down clinics and restrict access to comprehensive and often lifesaving health care, pure and simple. A woman’s decision whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term is not only extremely personal but also constitutionally protected. However, that private, constitutionally protected choice is rendered meaningless if women in North Carolina are prevented from having safe access to abortion care, as this bill would do for countless women across our state.”