Jul 6, 2022 - News

NC governor moves to further protect abortion access

Illustration of a small blue megaphone against a red background.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Gov. Roy Cooper used his executive powers Wednesday to issue an order protecting access to abortion care in North Carolina.

Why it matters: The state is an island in a sea of red states that have restricted abortion access, making North Carolina a destination for thousands of women seeking abortions.

  • One third of the patients on North Carolina clinic schedules this week were from out of state, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic said.

Details: The order protects abortion providers and their patients, the governor's office said, by:

  • Directing cabinet agencies, including the state health department and the Department of Public Safety, to protect reproductive health care in the state.
  • Barring those agencies from requiring that a pregnant employee travel to states where abortion access is restricted
  • Directing DPS and law enforcement ensure people are not blocking access to abortion clinics.
  • Protecting patients who travel to North Carolina or abortion care providers in the state from extradition.
  • Barring cabinet agencies from cooperating with investigations in other states into people who obtained or provided reproductive health care in North Carolina.

Between the lines: With Republicans in power in the General Assembly, Cooper and Democrats have little power to enact abortion protections through legislation.

  • The move is also another sign that Democrats will highlight the issue of abortion repeatedly in the lead-up to the November election.

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