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The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn abortion rights granted under Roe v. Wade, and reinforced by the Casey decision, as part of a case involving law in Mississippi, returned the decision about abortion rights to the state legislatures.

In North Carolina, abortions are legal, although restrictions on that law are currently in the courts. We’ve compiled this list of comments from political leaders. This will be updated as more are added.

North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper (AP Photo/Bryan Anderson, File)

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D)

“For 50 years, women have relied on their constitutional right to make their own medical decisions, but today that right has been tragically ripped away. That means it’s now up to the states to determine whether women get reproductive health care, and in North Carolina, they still can. I will continue to trust women to make their own medical decisions as we fight to keep politicians out of the doctor’s exam rooms.”

I will continue to trust women to make their own medical decisions as we fight to keep politicians out of the doctor’s exam rooms

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper
In this Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, photo, U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis responds to questions during an interview in Raleigh, N.C. North Carolina voters were deciding on Super Tuesday which Democrat they believe can unseat Sen. Thom Tillis and whether the current GOP lieutenant governor is the one best suited to oust Gov. Roy Cooper in the fall.(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina)

“This ruling is historic and monumental and affirms my belief that all life is sacred. Each state government and its duly elected representatives will now make the determination about the types of laws they wish to have in place. I, for one, will continue to advocate for commonsense measures that the broad majority of Americans support like protecting life at crucial points of development and prohibiting horrendous procedures like partial-birth and pain-capable abortions. This is a very emotional and sensitive issue for many Americans, and I urge calm and respect for the Court’s decision and hope people who have strong feelings on both sides will voice them peacefully.”

Rep. Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro), 6th District

Kathy Manning
Rep. Kathy Manning

“Today’s devastating Supreme Court opinion will set our society back generations. For nearly fifty years, Americans have had the constitutionally protected right to control their own bodies, free from political interference. Today, those rights are being stripped away from millions of Americans who are now at the mercy of extreme state legislatures. Abortion is still legal in North Carolina. But with this decision, Republican-controlled states across the country will immediately move to restrict or ban abortions, barring millions of Americans from access to health care. “This opinion also calls into question what other constitutional protections could soon be upended. Earlier this month, I introduced a resolution reaffirming Americans’ right to access contraception. The House must take up this legislation immediately to safeguard civil rights that Americans and their families rely on. Last year, the House passed the Women’s Health Protection Act, which codifies abortion access into law. The Senate has refused to vote on the legislation. But it is clear that Americans cannot wait – the Senate must act immediately to enshrine abortion rights into law to prevent irrevocable harm to millions of Americans.”

Rep. Ted Budd

Rep Ted Budd (R-Advance), 13th District

“Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court is a historic victory for the millions of Americans who believe that every life is precious and deserves protection. And it is a victory for the millions of unborn children who may now realize the most fundamental of all human rights, the right to life. The Court’s ruling correctly empowers the people’s representatives in each state to decide how best to protect unborn lives. As a conscience-driven pro-life advocate, I will continue to support protections for unborn children everywhere.” 

Representative Virginia Foxx (ANDREW DYE/Journal)

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-Banner Elk), 5th District

“The deliberate destruction of human life is a tragedy beyond words, and it is a damning rebuke of the values that we have always espoused in this country. One day, we hope it will be different. We hope life will cease to be valued on a sliding scale. We hope the era of elective abortions, spurred by bomb-throwing political opportunists on the left, will be closed, and collectively deemed one of the darkest chapters in American history. Today’s historic ruling by the Supreme Court takes a sizable step closer to closing that chapter. Children in the womb are people. They are our future leaders, sons, daughters, and future members of Congress. An outright denial of life for the most vulnerable – who cannot speak for themselves – is in no way justified. Abortion is not an exercise of freedom; it is a death knell for the most precious gift that God has bestowed upon us: life.”

Abortion is not an exercise of freedom.

Rep. Virginia Foxx
US Senate candidate profile: Cheri Beasley
US Senate candidate Cheri Beasley (WGHP FILE)

U.S. Senate candidate Cheri Beasley (D)

“As a former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, I want to be clear: Our Constitution grants Americans the right to make decisions about their health care free from government interference. Today, for the first time in our history, the Supreme Court took away an individual constitutional right. I join people across the country in anger and fear at this moment for what the Supreme Court’s decision will mean for women, American families, and health care providers. This wrong and dangerous decision that overturns nearly 50 years of precedent shows exactly what’s at stake in this election and I will not hesitate to stand up for Americans’ freedom to make our own decisions about our own families.”

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein (AP photo)

NC Attorney General Josh Stein (D)

“I have a message for the women of North Carolina: you still have a legal right to an abortion in our state. North Carolina state law protects women’s reproductive freedoms, even after the Supreme Court today stripped women of their right to an abortion under the Constitution by overturning Roe v. Wade. If we want to keep our freedoms under state law, then we have to elect state officials who commit to protecting them.”

U.S. Rep Richard Hudson (R-Concord), 9th District

U.S. Congressman Richard Hudson

“Five decades of prayer have been answered, as this ruling is overdue news for life and the unborn. I am glad the Court decided to return power to where it belongs – voters in states and their elected representatives. More than 600,000 babies were murdered in the United States last year. Ending Roe v Wade’s unconstitutional and unscientific precedent – which mandated allowing abortion even beyond the time a baby has a heartbeat, feels pain, or sucks her thumb – will save innocent lives.”

State Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Eden)

FILE - Republican Senate leader Phil Berger speaks Aug. 24, 2021, in Raleigh, N.C. North Carolina Senate Republicans are strongly considering legislation Monday, May 23, 2022, that would expand Medicaid coverage to hundreds of thousands of additional low-income adults. (AP Photo/Bryan Anderson, file)
Republican Senate leader Phil Berger (AP Photo/Bryan Anderson, file)

“The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs returns policy decisions regarding abortion to the states, which is where those decisions should be made. I remain committed to the right to life and protecting the unborn. North Carolina’s law banning abortions after 20 weeks is currently unenforceable. We will take immediate action to ensure North Carolina’s late-term abortion ban is reinstated. Senate Republicans will determine whether other steps are appropriate to strengthen our pro-life laws, but I do not anticipate legislative action prior to adjournment.”

State House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland)

House Speaker Tim Moore (NCGA)

“Today’s decision from the United States Supreme Court is long overdue and a major win for protecting life! The end of Roe v. Wade rightfully returns authority back to the states to determine abortion law. While I remain unequivocally pro-life, the short budget adjustment session does not afford us sufficient time to take up the issue. However, North Carolinians can rest assured that we are taking the necessary steps to ensure that current restrictions on the books will be enforced. North Carolinians can also expect pro-life protections to be a top priority of the legislature when we return to our normal legislative session in January.”

State Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Whitsett)

N.C. Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford County) (Courtesy of Jon Hardister)
N.C. Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford County) (Courtesy of Jon Hardister)

“The Supreme Court made the correct decision in overturning Roe v. Wade. There is no mention of abortion in the U.S. Constitution, making it an issue that should be left to the states. Abortion continues to be a divisive subject in our nation. The establishment of Roe v. Wade has perpetuated this division by making it a national issue. Allowing states to establish policies, through their locally-elected state legislators, will result in the issue being less divisive on a national scale. Our leadership team in the NC House intends to take legislative action on this matter, but not until next year’s “long session” of the General Assembly. We will use the time in the interim to review the Supreme Court’s ruling, gather input from citizens, and discuss our plans in a judicious manner. As a legislator, I will advocate for what I believe is a ‘center-right’ position on abortion. I believe there should be exceptions, such as for cases that involve rape or the health of the mother, but I also believe there should be meaningul restrictions that show deference to the life of the unborn child. While I am personally pro-life, I respect the views of those who have a different opinion. Abortion is a complex matter, as it relates to the life of an unborn child, along with the health and autonomy of the mother. People understandably have strong emotions on this subject. My personal view is that we must value the life of the unborn child while also recognizing the complexities that can arise during a pregnancy. This decision is an affirmation of federalism in the United States. It does not mean that abortion is going to be illegal everywhere. The Supreme Court has returned the decision to the states, where it should be, which will result in a variety of laws being enacted across the nation. Some states will have restrictive abortion laws, some will have liberal laws, and many states will fall somewhere in between. It is my hope that people will engage in a respectful dialogue on this matter without attacking the character of those who have a different opinion. Although this subject elicits strong emotions, there is no need to engage in personal attacks. Our citizens deserve a respectful dialogue as we process this ruling and look towards the future.”