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BCDP press release: SB20, a sneak attack on liberty

PRESS RELEASE Contact: Lon Anderson

For Immediate Release

May 10, 2023


Brunswick County Democrats Oppose MAGA Republican-Inspired Abortion Bill

The Brunswick County Democratic Party is urging residents to contact their elected representatives in the state legislature to express their opposition to SB 20, the bill severely limiting the rights of women across North Carolina to control their own reproductive healthcare decisions.

“This is a terrible bill,” said BCDP Chair Shelley Allen. “The goal of the MAGA-Republican majority in the state legislature is not to protect the lives of the unborn or the welfare of women and families. If it were, the legislature would have solicited the advice of medical professionals, the majority of whom oppose this bill.”

Allen added this bill’s aim is to “appease the minority of extremists in our state whose goal is to subjugate the rights of women. MAGA Republicans want to make women second-class citizens by imposing unnecessary, unrealistic and unreasonable burdens on their medical freedom. This isn’t justice, and it’s not democracy. It’s a sneak attack on liberty.”

The BCDP Chair said it’s not just that the bill shortens from 20 to 12 weeks the time women have to seek an abortion. “That’s bad enough,” she said. “But it’s also other provisions in this unfortunate proposal that will make it among the most restrictive laws in the nation, unless at least one courageous legislator steps up and sustains Governor Cooper’s veto.”

Governor Cooper has indeed vowed to veto the bill. To sustain a veto will require the support of at least one Republican in the House or Senate to side with the Democratic minority.

Criticism of the bill has been building in the days since May 4, when the legislature sent it to the governor. The Republican majority rushed the bill through both chambers, giving lawmakers less than two days to review the 48-page proposal before they voted.

No Democrats were involved in the drafting of the bill, which was approved along party lines. “No one — not even many Republicans — understands everything this bill proposes,” Allen said. “In fact, the public is just now learning how restrictive this measure is. Absurdly named the “Care for Women, Children, and Families Act,” SB 20 is a misogynistic Trojan Horse.”

Among the provisions in the bill Brunswick County Democrats oppose are:

  • New restrictions and limitations on abortions for cases such as rape or incest.

  • Additional restrictions to current law on abortions for women whose pregnancy places their lives in danger.

  • Prior to receiving an abortion, patients must visit their doctors a minimum of three times — in person — for “counseling.” They would also be required, as is now the case, to read information about abortions that can be false or misleading.

  • Limitations on medication abortion, which uses drugs such as Mifepristone. While such drugs are FDA-approved and safe to use at home, this bill requires them to be administered in the presence of a physician.

  • Abortions must take place in hospitals, increasing their cost and countering the fact almost all these procedures safely take place in abortion clinics throughout the state.

  • Mailing of medicine for medication abortions in North Carolina would be illegal.

Allen noted SB 20 would likely lead to the closing of abortion clinics, reducing the availability of women’s health care in North Carolina — including a Planned Parenthood facility in Wilmington. “Reporting requirements to the state are onerous and do not respect a patient’s right to privacy,” she said. “Furthermore, the bill offers no guidance or funding on how such information should be safeguarded.”

Whether or not the measure becomes law, Allen said voters across Brunswick County and the state will remember how their legislators voted. “We will have our chance to speak on Election Day 2024,” Allen said. “We won’t forget.”

If you oppose this legislation, contact your elected representative today. Time is limited, and you must act now to protect the rights of women in North Carolina.

Senator Bill Rabon

Rep. Frank Iler

Rep. Charles Miller



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