Cooper signs pro-abortion executive order – The North State Journal

Democratic North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signs an executive order to protect abortion rights in the state at the Executive Mansion in Raleigh, North Carolina, Wednesday, July 6, 2022. The order prevents en part the extradition of a woman who has an abortion in North Carolina, but can live in another state where the procedure is prohibited. (AP Photo/Gary D. Robertson).

RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday signed an executive order outlining the various steps he wants the executive branch to take to “protect reproductive rights” following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade on June 24. Cooper was joined by Planned Parenthood activists and Democratic congressional candidates as he sought to use the order to bolster his party’s position ahead of the November election.

“The Supreme Court has snatched away the constitutional right to reproductive freedom that women have relied on for five decades,” Governor Cooper said. “Right now, it’s up to the states to determine whether women get reproductive health care, and in North Carolina they still can, thanks to my veto and enough legislative votes to keep it going. I’m determined to make it happen and people need to know that their votes in the state legislature election in November will determine the fate of women’s health and liberty in our state.

Among the provisions of the order, Cooper says state agencies at the cabinet level should “coordinate with each other and seek opportunities to protect individuals or entities providing, assisting, seeking, or obtaining health care services.” reproductive rights in North Carolina”. It is unclear what steps this would entail.

The order also directs state law enforcement not to extradite “any person charged with a criminal offense to another state where the alleged offense arose out of the investigation, provision, assisting, obtaining, or receiving reproductive health care services that are legal in North Carolina, unless the acts underlying the prosecution of the crime charged are also a criminal offense under the law of North Carolina.

The order also states that pregnant employees of Cabinet agencies cannot be required to travel to a state “that has imposed restrictions on access to reproductive health care services.”

Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Alexis McGill Johnson thanked Governor Cooper for the order.

“Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, North Carolina has become an increasingly critical access point for people traveling for abortion care, including from neighboring South Carolina and Tennessee, where lawmakers in both states quickly banned most abortions. Now, we must continue to do everything in our power to ensure abortion remains accessible in North Carolina, both for North Carolinians and those forced to flee their own state amid growing restrictions. and cruel prohibitions,” she said.

In response to Cooper’s order, NC Values ​​Coalition executive director Tami Fitzgerald noted that state abortion laws did not change on June 24.

“Today’s executive order was an election year stunt, designed to scare women into thinking there is a problem to be solved. It’s just the virtue of Governor Cooper signaling to the abortion industry that’s nervous about a slated anti-veto majority in November. Instead of giving orders, the governor should help women who are currently in crisis by providing them with the resources they need to succeed and choose life with confidence,” she said.

The status of the state’s 20-week abortion ban remains unclear after Attorney General Josh Stein refused to fully enforce the state’s longstanding law.

House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Kings Mountain) and Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Eden) wrote to Stein the day the court overturned Roe v. Wade asking Stein to fully enforce the law.

“Attorney General Josh Stein must act immediately to enforce North Carolina’s 20-week abortion ban. Any reluctance or neglect to do so betrays our most vulnerable and is not in the best interests of North Carolinians,” Berger said in the letter.

Lily Executive Order 263.

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