Sad, disgusted but resolute, North Carolina abortion clinics expanding hours, hiring in aftermath of Roe decision

27 June 2022

A Woman’s Choice, an abortion care provider with locations in Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte, is planning to expand hours and hire additional staff in anticipation of an influx of patients from other states.

“We are anticipating an increase of patients coming to North Carolina to get care from surrounding states,” said Amber Gavin, A Woman’s Choice vice president of advocacy and operations.

On Monday, WRAL News spoke with Gavin following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last week to end constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years.

“While our team is really sad and disgusted ultimately with the Supreme Court decision, we are resolute in providing compassionate and nonjudgmental abortion care in our communities,” Gavin said.

The high court’s decision is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. However, North Carolina is not one of them.

U.S. States with "Trigger Laws" banning abortions

Gavin said A Woman’s Choice is planning to also expand hours of operations and partner with hotels so women have lodging.

Gavin, who is a sexual assault survivor, said she has shed tears about the issue. When Gavin went to her provider for emergency contraception, she was told by a provider it was against their religious beliefs.

“Any reason for an abortion is valid, so it’s really crushing to me that folks are not going to be able to access abortion care,” Gavin said.

Gavin called abortion, birth control and emergency contraception an “essential part of health care.”

North Carolina’s ban on abortions after 20 weeks was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge in 2019. Right now, abortion is legal until viability. Abortion pills can be taken through 11 weeks of pregnancy, but do require an in-person doctors visit.

Duke committed to ‘safe and reliable access’

On Monday, Duke Health issued a statement to WRAL News:

“Duke Health is committed to providing a full range of the highest quality family planning services, including abortion, in full compliance with current state laws,” the statement reads. “This care is designed for the complex and highly sensitive health and emotional needs of people who are making childbearing decisions.

“Safe and reliable access to these services is a critical part of women’s health, and it is also a vital component of our educational mission to train physicians to deliver comprehensive care. We value the ability to deliver these critical services safely and compassionately, and we will assess changes if required by law.”

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein also issued a written statement.

“Abortion care is health care. Period,” Stein wrote. “We stand together, as our states’ chief law officers, to proudly say that we will not back down in the fight to protect the rights of pregnant people in our states and across the country.

“While the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision reverses nearly half a century of legal precedent and undermines the rights of people across the United States, we’re joining together to reaffirm our commitment to supporting and expanding access to abortion care nationwide.”

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Abortion-rights advocates hold rally

Hundreds of abortion rights advocates rallied Monday night in Chatham County against the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade. About 200 people gathered outside the Chatham County Courthouse, from little kids to people in their 80s.

Many of the advocates held signs, demanding women be able to keep their reproductive freedom.

“Women will always have and need and find a way to have an abortion, but they may die doing it,” said abortion-rights advocate Carol Goettman.

Abortion-rights advocate Valerie Scull offered her perspective.

“I know it’s a long road, but I am hoping these kinds of protests will keep people hoping and believing and knowing there’s people behind them that want the same thing they do,” Scull said.

On Monday night, several speakers urged the crowd to use their voice by voting in November’s election.

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