NC Dems hold press conference on potential end of Roe
North Carolina Democrats held a press conference on Wednesday, May 4 to denounce a proposed U.S. Supreme Court opinion that would transfer power to set abortion policy to individual states. Despite the public platform, they remained silent on the secret leak of the project to the media.
The draft – drafted by Judge Samuel Alito and dated February – is not the final decision, which is expected this spring or early summer. But if the draft ends up being the final decision, it would overturn the Roe v. Wade of the 1973 High Court which made abortion compulsory for all 50 states.
“We feel that Roe and Casey should be canceled,” Alito wrote in the draft. “It is time to respect the Constitution and to return the question of abortion to the elected representatives of the people.
In an explosive development, news of the leak broke late Monday evening. As North Carolina Democrats continue to remain silent on the issue of how the draft was leaked and its implications for the integrity of the nation’s highest court, they were quick to speak out. make it an election issue for the fall midterms.
“Last year we celebrated what will likely be the final anniversary of Roe v. Wade,” said Sen. Natalie Murdock, D-Durham. “To be clear, if we don’t elect pro-choice Democrats in November, North Carolina will become the next Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Kentucky.”
“In the [N.C.] Senate, Democrats are 22 strong,” said Sen. Wiley Nickel, D-Wake, who is also running in the Democratic primary in the 13th congressional district. “As long as we are 22 strong, we can resist Governor Cooper’s vetoes and we will continue to do so for the rest of the year.”
“The founders of our country commissioned us to create a more perfect union because they knew from the start that the Constitution was flawed,” said Gerald Givens, president of the Apex-Raleigh NAACP. “Let’s all be vigilant, let’s go and vote, and don’t just vote like your rights depend on it, but go ahead and vote like your life depends on it.”
Republicans counter that Democrats are hypocritical on the issue of abortion given their policy prescriptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Democrats are struggling with their talking points on [Roe v. Wade]”, tweeted Senator Joyce Krawiec, R-Forsyth. “’My body my choice’ after mask mandates and attempted vaccine mandates. “It’s a women’s issue” is difficult because Democrats don’t have a definition of women.”
Other observers have been more willing to comment on the historical nature of the leak. Duke University law and political science professor Neil Siegal called the leak “extraordinary and egregious” and said “no one should be eager to add our nation’s highest court to the list of dysfunctional government institutions”.
Siegal added that if the leaked opinion becomes the majority decision in the case, “then the outcome is not terribly surprising – that is, after all, what the 2016 election was about, that people l realized at the time or not”.
“The unprecedented leak from our nation’s highest court is an atrocity,” Republican Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson said in a statement. “The draft that was leaked was not a final court decision, and it appears to have been published by a radical leftist to influence the final court decision. This individual must be found and prosecuted.
In his statement, Robinson added, “If this project is truly reflective of the court, then it is indeed a major victory for the pro-life movement. This opinion says it would return control of abortion to the states – where it rightfully belongs. However, here in North Carolina, it would be a cause of work, not party. Currently in North Carolina, abortion is legal for any reason up to 20 weeks pregnant. This is unacceptable. That is why I call on the General Assembly to act. If the Supreme Court returns power to the states, it will be our duty to protect the life of the unborn child.
Robinson also referenced her own personal experience with abortion. “I have experienced the pain of abortion in my own life and I know the pain it can cause families. It is a huge reason why I am fighting so hard for the life of the unborn child.