North Carolinians Deserve Sanctuary from Anti-Abortion Harms

| Reproaction

By: Tenaja Henson

Late last year, Randolph County, North Carolina became the fourth in the state to pass a resolution declaring itself an anti-abortion “sanctuary” within county limits. [1] Resolutions like these are toothless, as Randolph County has no operating abortion providers, but they are neither meaningless nor harmless, especially as the anticipated fall of Roe and the federal constitutional right to abortion looms dreadfully.

For one, anti-abortion resolutions fan the flames of cultural and societal hostility towards abortion, raising the temperature of anti-abortion sentiment and increasing the likelihood of anti-abortion hostility outside of nearby operating clinics. They also contribute to abortion stigma, which in itself is a barrier to accessing care, as shame can drive people to not seek the abortions they want for fear of believed or real familial, social, or spiritual consequences. What’s especially infuriating is that these resolutions are being passed without seeking large-scale input from the communities that they are supposed to serve.

Functionally, these anti-abortion resolutions are no more than officials in power imposing intimidation tactics and encouraging more hostility towards abortion providers and patients. Which is exactly the goal they are aiming for, with the help and support from the Personhood Alliance, a Tennessee-based group that’s exporting its anti-abortion hate. [1] The Personhood Alliance encourages resolutions against abortion in order to bolster anti-abortion sentiment in the community, from law enforcement, other elected officials, and even business owners. This sets the stage so local officials can pass an ordinance, which would in turn have power to restrict abortion. Essentially, the point of these resolutions is to ultimately enact ordinances restricting abortion access, and to push anti-abortion North Carolina state legislators to support the passing of abortion bans at the state level, closing down the existing abortion care providers in the state.

So, even though the spate of state-level resolutions restricting abortions within county lines are not impacting the legality of abortion yet, they still peddle lies and misinformation about abortion in an effort to drum up support for North Carolina H.B. 31, a bill which would effectively ban abortion on the basis of fetal cardiac activity. [2] Should this pass, the fallout would be catastrophic. Not only would abortion access diminish in a state that already has dire access needs, but pregnancy and related reproductive health care for people seeking to prevent or continue pregnancies would similarly suffer. We know that abortion bans correlate to poorer health outcomes for maternal and infant mortality and morbidity across low-access states, and North Carolina suffers from these dismal statistics.

For example, in 2020 the infant mortality rate was 6.2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, with a racial disparity making it nearly three times more likely for Black infants to die compared to their white peers. [3] For maternal mortality, North Carolina is just below the national average with 27.6 deaths per 100,000 births. But again, when we look into the racial disparities, the maternal mortality rate in North Carolina is 56.8 deaths per 100,000 births.[4] But please, explain to me how restricting access to abortion with no plan other than continuing to fund anti-abortion fake clinics will help? Anti-abortion fake clinics do not provide comprehensive health care, nor are they equipped to support the expansiveness of needs that pregnant people face when they are surviving systems that are designed to keep them from the life they deserve, whatever that may be. You’d think in such an extreme pregnancy and birthing crisis, that the sham ‘health care’ services offered by fake clinics would be regulated at the least, but better off banned. Instead, unfortunately, the North Carolina budget has continually escalated funding for fake clinics, even after being proven to not even adequately offer the meager, ineffective, medically unsound services they promised!

North Carolinians deserve to have sanctuary from medical racism, trauma, neglect, forced birth and forced parenthood, and “sanctuary counties” and abortion bans like HB 31 deepen the stigma and shame that already exist in our culture around who get abortions and why they need them.


1 –
2 –

Stay Connected

Support The Cause

donate now

Take Action

Find a campaign and take action now