Press Release • May 3, 2023

Equality NC Denounces Bans on Abortion and Gender-Affirming Care as Government Overreach

For Immediate Release

Alainna Liloia | Equality NC |

RALEIGH – On Wednesday, the North Carolina Legislature advanced two bills marked by government intrusion in healthcare. The House passed HB 808, a bill restricting the access of trans youth to gender-affirming care, and SB 20, a 12-week abortion ban.

HB 808, which originally banned all gender-affirming care, was substituted with a ban on gender transition surgeries for minors earlier this week. However, legislators added an amendment Wednesday banning state funding for any "gender transition procedures," a provision that could cut off funding for hormone therapies, puberty blockers, and more. In advancing the bill, the legislature has disregarded the advice of medical and mental health care providers, as well as intense public opposition. On Tuesday, the House health committee denied the many people who showed up to oppose the bill the opportunity to speak, ignoring cries of protest as the bill was pushed forward.

Lawmakers used similar backdoor tactics to fast-track SB 20. The public was given less than 11 hours to read the 46-page bill before a joint rules committee Wednesday morning. This highly unusual process prevented amendments to the bill.

Both bills represent unprecedented government overreach into private healthcare decisions. Healthcare decisions for trans youth should be left to families and medical care providers. Similarly, the decision to get an abortion or carry a pregnancy to term should remain the deeply personal choice that it is.

Kendra R. Johnson (she/her), Executive Director of Equality NC, said,

"Gender-affirming care bans and abortion bans cut off people's access to essential healthcare and endanger lives. Lawmakers are circumventing democratic processes to fast-track these bans, ignoring the bold opposition expressed by the public and the medical community. Politicians need to stay out of private healthcare decisions and stop trying to enact control over other people's bodies."

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Equality North Carolina builds LGBTQ+ power through advocacy, education, and uplifting the stories of queer and trans North Carolinians in pursuit of racial and social justice.

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