How will we protect choice? By taking back the General Assembly in 2012
January 22, 2012
Republicans in the NC General Assembly really outdid themselves in 2011.
I wanted to take the opportunity on Blog for Choice Day to raise my voice alongside others across the country. I want to explain what the GOP’s agenda means to me and to women and men across North Carolina.
As a recent college graduate (go Heels!), I know firsthand the serious consequences of the anti-choice Republican agenda – I and most of my friends went to Planned Parenthood in Chapel Hill throughout our time in school for STI testing, birth control pills and gynecological check-ups.
I also volunteered for Planned Parenthood, so my friends knew they could call me if they had questions about the services provided there. “How can I get birth control?” “Where can I get tested?” “Do I have to have insurance?”
I felt comfortable sending friends to the local clinic for answers to all their questions because I knew they’d receive quality, non-judgmental care, no matter their age, economic background or sexual orientation.
Where else could I direct my friends when they came to me for help, especially if they don’t have a lot of money or health insurance coverage? In North Carolina, Planned Parenthood relieves much of the burden faced by underfunded county health clinics, which often have waiting lists months long.
But now Planned Parenthood is at risk – the results of a single election cycle have jeopardized our health and our lives, and Republicans in state legislatures across the country want to go even further in attacking reproductive rights.
While 2011 was a scary time to be a North Carolina woman, I’m grateful that some legislators in the General Assembly are working every day to make sure my local clinic stays open.
Although some of Gov. Perdue’s vetoes were overridden by the GOP-controlled General Assembly and some of the laws attacking women are still being settled in courts, this past session has reminded us just how much elections matter.
I trust women like me to make sure college students and low-income North Carolinians have the power to make their own health decisions. And this election season, I’m fighting to elect more pro-choice, Democratic women who will speak for me.
What are you fighting for?
Leah Josephson is the communications and development associate at Lillian’s List.