Research Analyzes Life After Roe in N.C.
Special Report - January 24, 2008
Abortion could still be legal in North Carolina even if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. That is the conclusion of a new white paper co-written by North Carolina Family Policy Council staff attorney Tami Fitzgerald and State Representative Paul Stam (R-Wake). The paper, “North Carolina: An Indifference to Life,” is one of 38 white papers published by Americans United for Life (AUL) as part of the pro-life organization’s State Supreme Court Project. According to AUL, the project is intended to provide an in-depth look at how various state supreme courts have handled life-related issues, and to help the pro-life movement prepare for the day when Roe is overturned.
In their white paper on North Carolina, Fitzgerald and Rep. Stam explain the history of abortion law in North Carolina, provide an overview of the legal climate in the state, and offer an analysis of the State Supreme Court. The authors highlight the fact that in 1967, North Carolina ended its 86-year-old ban on abortion and became the second state in the nation to partially legalize abortion. The paper also examines current restrictions on abortion, such as a law that requires parental consent for minors to obtain an abortion and limits on the state funding of abortion. It also explains where the law stands on other life-related issues ranging from assisted suicide to embryonic stem cell research.
Fitzgerald and Rep. Stam conclude the paper by noting that because of the “life and health of the mother” exception in North Carolina’s abortion law, “North Carolina may still be a state that allows almost unrestricted abortions even after Roe is overturned. While restrictions that are already in place . . . will continue to deter abortions, abortions will still be legal after Roe.”
“This white paper provides some insight into why North Carolina was recently ranked 30th in the country in a state-by-state analysis of pro-life laws conducted by Americans United for Life,” said Tami Fitzgerald. “The paper also attempts to answer the key question on the minds of many pro-life citizens, which is: What would happen in North Carolina if and when Roe v. Wade is overturned?” Fitzgerald concluded, “The fact is that abortion will not automatically be illegal, and it is critical for pro-life citizens to understand why and to take an active role in seeing that our General Assembly considers and passes new laws that protect the sanctity of life.”
Copyright © 2008. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.