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Charlotte Observer: “Abortion will be one of the biggest issues on the ballot in 2024”

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Charlotte Observer:  “Abortion will be one of the biggest issues on the ballot in 2024”

An editorial from the Charlotte Observer late last week highlights the stakes of North Carolina’s gubernatorial race for protecting and restoring reproductive freedom. After North Carolina Republicans jammed through an extreme and dangerous abortion ban earlier this month, leading GOP gubernatorial candidates made clear that they do not believe this legislation goes far enough, with Lt. Governor Mark Robinson saying he wants to “continue to move the ball” by banning abortion before most women even know they are pregnant, and former congressman Mark Walker calling the new law a “first step” toward even more restrictions on abortion access.

None of this is new for these two extreme candidates. Mark Robinson previously said that if elected governor, he would work to pass legislation to make sure women “can’t have an abortion in North Carolina for any reason,” and Mark Walker, who voted for a national abortion ban while in Congress, believes “governments shouldn’t allow abortions under any circumstance.”

As the editorial board notes, if either of these dangerous and out-of-touch extremists were elected to the governorship, “lawmakers wouldn’t have to worry about a veto at all — they could pass new legislation with just a simple majority vote,” making clear why “abortion will be one of the biggest issues on the ballot in 2024.”

Key excerpts from the editorial:

  • If a Republican wins the governorship… lawmakers wouldn’t have to worry about a veto at all — they could pass new legislation with just a simple majority vote. Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson and former Rep. Mark Walker, two of the GOP candidates for governor in 2024, have expressed a desire to further restrict North Carolina’s abortion laws if elected.
  • Robinson said earlier this year that if he were governor and had a “willing legislature,” he would want to pass a law that makes abortion illegal “for any reason.” He has since adjusted his stance — slightly — saying he supports “common-sense legislation” that prohibits abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected. He has also attempted to dodge the issue, though, telling WFAE that he is “not interested in talking about abortion anymore.”
  • In a recent interview on conservative radio, Robinson said the new 12-week ban “gives ourselves the opportunity to set ourselves up to get ready to continue to move the ball.”
  • Walker, meanwhile, said in a recent TV interview that he likes to think of the new bill as a “first step.”
  • Regardless, abortion will be one of the biggest issues on the ballot in 2024, just as it was in 2022. But North Carolina’s new 12-week law is already unpopular with voters. Republicans should be careful about going any further.

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