North Carolina could become the South’s abortion capital after Florida’s heartbeat law takes effect – LifeSite

(LifeSiteNews) — North Carolina should buckle up. By all indications, due to Florida’s Supreme Court decision to uphold a law limiting abortion at six weeks of gestation, North Carolina is poised to become the 2024 abortion capital of the South. The Florida law went into effect on May 1, and after that date, North Carolina will see a notable increase in the number of women from out of state coming here to seek an abortion. 

Until recently, Florida was the last option for abortion-seeking women in the Deep South. In 2023, with the most lenient abortion law in the South (a 15-week limitation), Florida committed about 1/12th of all abortions in the U.S. with 84,000 abortions, an increase of two percent from the previous year. Nine percent, or 7,560 of those abortions, were obtained by non-residents. The majority of the out-of-state abortion seekers were either from Georgia or Alabama. 

READ: Florida’s six-week heartbeat law takes effect, expected to save thousands of lives

With the exception of North Carolina, the gates to abortion in the South are closing. Most southern states ban abortion completely, with a few having a six-week ban. Furthermore, with the exception of Virginia, every state surrounding North Carolina, including Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia, has protected life at all stages of pregnancy or at six weeks. 

When SB 20 passed, it was met with much fanfare by the pro-life community. The protection of life after 12 weeks, the requirement for in-person counseling, the 72-hour waiting period, the requirement that doctors be present for the first abortion pill, and the detailed informed consent requirements all contributed to a decline in abortions by 31 percent one month after the bill went into effect on July 1, 2023. 

READ: Abortions in North Carolina decrease by 31% after 12-week ban takes effect

But the state legislature’s refusal to move below a 12-week limit on abortion to at least a protection for the unborn when a heartbeat is detected may reverse any gains in the state to save unborn children from abortion by chemical annihilation or physical dismemberment.

Nationally, abortionists anticipate that many abortion-seeking women will migrate north to North Carolina. Jenny Black, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic CEO, has been quoted as saying that the abortion business’ North Carolina staff is working to “quickly expand capacity and increase appointment availability.” Travel to the Great North State won’t be a problem either with organizations such as “A Woman’s Choice” providing the funds to make the journey. 

While some North Carolina legislators may feel they have “checked the box” on a post-Roe pro-life response with the passage of SB 20, the truth is otherwise. The fight has just begun. 

In a speech given in 1995 at Notre Dame, the late Pennsylvania governor Robert Casey said the following: 

“Human life cannot be measured. It is the measure itself. The value of everything else is weighed against it. The abortion debate is not about how we shall live, but who should live. And more than that, it’s about who we are.” 

Do we, as North Carolinians, still believe, as our forefathers did, that all men are created equal and that every man has the right to liberty, beginning with the right to live? Or are we now a state that believes man is no longer equal, that the powerful should hold sway over the most powerless and innocent, and that the weakest among us should serve at the mercy of the strong? 

I urge legislators to continue the fight for the unborn babies who will come to our state destined to be slaughtered in our abortion mills and for the mothers who will suffer the emotional consequences of knowing they have murdered their own child. 

As North Carolinians, that is not who we are. These children and mothers deserve our protection. Future generations do as well. I hope our legislators find the courage to fight for mothers and for their babies. 

Mary Potters Summa, J.D., is general counsel for NC Values Coalition

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