North Carolina Reacts to Supreme Court Decision to Strip Away the Constitutional Right to Abortion

People protest about abortion, Friday, June 24, 2022, outside the Supreme Court in Washington. The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years — a decision by its conservative majority to overturn the court's landmark abortion cases. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

By Michael McElroy

June 24, 2022

While Friday’s ruling sparked anger across the state among reproductive rights advocates and Democratic lawmakers, it also prompted the resolve to continue fighting.

The United States Supreme Court decision striking down Roe v. Wade on Friday puts millions of pregnant people across the country in danger, and leaves generations of women in the US with fewer rights than their mothers.

As Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan wrote in their dissent: “Today’s decision strips women of agency over what even the majority agrees is a contested and contestable moral issue. It forces her to carry out the State’s will, whatever the circumstances and whatever the harm it will wreak on her and her family. In the Fourteenth Amendment’s terms, it takes away her liberty.”

The ruling sparked anger across North Carolina, where it is worth pointing out that abortion access remains safe and legal for now. It also prompted resolve to continue to fight, especially since a Democratic governor with veto power is the only thing preventing the Republican-controlled General Assembly from enacting anti-abortion laws.

Here is a sampling of the responses shared Friday after the 6-3 decision came out.

Cheri Beasley, former NC State Supreme Court Justice and US Senate candidate

Rep. Alma Adams, Mecklenburg County

Rep. Deborah Ross, Wake County

“The bottom line is this: women will lose control over all aspects of their lives because of this decision.

“The Supreme Court has done what many believed was unthinkable for nearly half a century. By overturning Roe v. Wade, they have stripped millions of women of a sacred constitutional right. And they did so even though the vast majority of Americans agree that women should have the right to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions. I fear for all our sisters and daughters and I fear for the state of North Carolina, where we will need to fight tooth and nail in the coming weeks and months to preserve access to abortion health care.”

Gov. Roy Cooper

NC Attorney General Josh Stein

North Carolina Democratic Party

“Women have the right to make their own health care decisions without politicians getting in the way. This decision further emboldens Republicans to continue their harmful efforts to restrict reproductive rights, including U.S. Senate candidate Congressman Ted Budd who has made clear that he will ban abortion with no exceptions, not even for rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. In 2022, it is critical that we elect Democrats who will stand up for our constitutional rights and who will focus on fighting for what North Carolinians need and want – not the agenda of extreme Washington politicians and corporate special interests.”

NC Senator Jeff Jackson

NextGen, a national voting group focused on young people

“Today’s Supreme Court decision throws away years of established precedent and ignores the overwhelming majority of Americans who support reproductive justice. Deciding what happens to one’s own body should be the right of every American, and by eliminating the constitutional right to an abortion, the Supreme Court has launched a vicious attack on the lives of all.”

“This decision has been in the works for decades by the far right, which has now overtaken the Supreme Court. Today’s decision makes clear that no civil liberties are safe from being rolled back by this Supreme Court. It will not stop here. The millions of young people that NextGen mobilizes are ready to fight back and stop the erosion on other basic rights from access to contraceptives, gay marriage, and even our basic right to vote. 

“This upcoming election, NextGen is reaching 9.6 million young voters across the country to make their voices heard on the issues that matter to them and stop the takeover of our government by an extremist minority, who is determined to take our country backwards. At NextGen America, we are ready to activate a whole new generation of leaders into action. They will ensure that Congress finally delivers on this issue and protect the rights of Americans to make decisions regarding their bodies.

“We fought this fight in 1973 and won, and we will win again.”

American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Executive Director Chantal Stevens

“North Carolina already has several laws that unreasonably restrict access to abortion, including a 72-hour waiting period, one of the longest in the country. Governor Cooper has successfully prevented further restrictions from going into effect, but we continue to face frequent and extreme attacks on our rights from state legislators. It is imperative that North Carolinians turn out to vote in November and elect lawmakers who will fight for our right to control our own bodies.”


  • Michael McElroy

    Michael McElroy is Cardinal & Pine's political correspondent. He is an adjunct instructor at UNC-Chapel Hill's Hussman School of Journalism and Media, and a former editor at The New York Times.

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