North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has signed an executive order that would strengthen access to reproductive health care in the state.
The order says that patients who receive abortions in the state or providers who perform abortions will not be penalized or criminalized, ABC News reports.
“The Supreme Court ripped away the constitutional right to reproductive freedom that women have relied on for five decades,” Cooper said Wednesday.
“For 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 sustain it. I am determined to keep it that way, and people need to know that their votes in state legislative races this November will determine the fate of women’s health and freedom in our state,” Cooper added.
North Carolina’s action comes just two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Cooper’s order says that all cabinet agencies and those who are part of the governor’s office, “should coordinate with each other and pursue opportunities to protect people or entities who are providing, assisting, seeking or obtaining lawful reproductive health care services in North Carolina.”
The order also says that cabinet agencies may not require any pregnant cabinet agency employee to travel to a state that restricts access to abortions or reproductive health care.
“Research demonstrates that unnecessary restrictions and bans on reproductive health care rights have harmful consequences on people’s health, safety and economic stability…[and] disproportionately impact people of color, people with disabilities, people with low incomes and people who live in rural areas,” the order reads.
Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said she was hopeful about the order.
“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 mounting restrictions and cruel bans,” she said.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Allison Joyce/Stringer
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.