North Carolina YWCAs Urge Veto of Senate Bill 20

Common Sense Bill Threatens Reproductive Access and North Carolina’s Economic Security

North Carolina Senate Bill 20, a “common sense” bill that supports paid family leave, access to contraception, safe surrender protection for newborns, and access to certified nurse midwives seems like common sense. Most North Carolinians support these critical services for women, children, and their families.

In a political maneuver passed without public notice or participation, however, the majority party in North
Carolina General Assembly inserted into the bill an extreme 46-page ban on access to abortion. The majority of
the nearly 50 pages—dumped on fellow legislators late at night—reflected language that was part of legislation that was previously defeated when presented through public hearings as it bans access to abortion even in the case of rape or incest; bans access to emergency medical services; and is cloaked in medical misinformation, misdirection, and straight-up lies. The people spoke and were ignored.

Knowing these suggested policies do not align with the sentiment of most North Carolinians, the majority in the
General Assembly decided to eliminate public hearings on SB 20 and they have ensured, through crafty political
maneuvering, that the bill cannot be amended—effectively stripping citizens of their right to question the
actions of their elected representatives. In short, the legislative process was purposefully perverted to prevent
feedback from the public and fellow legislators. This is unacceptable.

These actions lead to the conclusion that common sense, when it comes to the majority in the General Assembly,
is not so common.

Based on decades of data and research, we know that abortion bans like this are not only bad for children,
women, and families, but also for the State of North Carolina to recruit business to our State. We’ve seen in the
past that extreme legislation not only impacts the health of its citizens but also hundreds of millions of dollars
in economic investment. We are a top state for business and our healthcare system is already highly regulated.
We must maintain an open and inclusive economy, so North Carolina and its families continue to thrive.

With the support of YWCA USA, every YWCA Association in North Carolina—Associations that serve tens of
thousands of people each year—stand in solidarity with advocates, leaders, parents, survivors of violence, allies,
and everyone who believes that comprehensive reproductive care is a fundamental right; we will continue to
advocate at all levels of governments for safe, accessible abortion care. These advocacy efforts include Senate
Bill 20, which is anti-family, restricts access to healthcare, and places an albatross around the neck of our
economic security.

This bill is not common sense. It is a threat to all that North Carolina has worked for to become a leading
economic engine, and it is a threat to all women and their fundamental rights to bodily autonomy. SB 20 will
ensure that North Carolina will no longer be a place for women and families to thrive, but a state of restriction,
discrimination, and political red tape. We need to do better.

YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen
communities. We are one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families in a typical year. YWCA has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for over 160 years—from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to healthcare reform.

Today, we combine programming and advocacy in order to generate institutional change in three key areas: racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls, and health and safety of women and girls.

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There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.
Daniel Cross • Executive Director