In the wake of Roe v. Wade’s reversal and a time of fear, pain, and distrust in our government, it’s comforting to know that a few local political leaders are still looking out for those of us with a uterus.

Mayor Pam Hemminger from Chapel Hill, Mayor Jennifer Weaver from Hillsborough, and Mayor Damon Seils from Carrboro released a joint statement last week sharing their outrage and dismay over the US Supreme Court’s’ 6-3 decision and its implications for women’s bodily autonomy, trans and LGBTQIA+ rights, and access to safe healthcare. 

The statement offered information on how abortion in North Carolina will be affected by this decision. While abortion is still legal in the state, there are some laws restricting the conditions in which an abortion can be obtained, the statement said, and linked a PDF of resources that people can use to advocate to their representatives, donate to funds, and educate themselves.

Given her personal experiences and role as both a parent and local leader, Weaver says she is horrified by court’s decision.

“As a person who is still pre-menopausal, who is the parent of two children who have their whole futures ahead of them, as someone who has had an abortion and whose children would not exist without that access, as an American citizen and community leader who knows all people need and deserve access to healthcare, including abortion services, I find the elimination of this constitutional right to be horrifying and enraging,” Weaver says.

Weaver says that while she can’t guarantee people a feeling of security, she will do all that she can to support and inform the local community.

“As a mayor in a state where local governments have limited powers as it is, it would be wrong for me to say I can ensure that people feel safe and comfortable in this new reality,” Weaver says. “What I can do is continue to use my platform to express solidarity and help people get the information they need.”

Weaver says not to lose hope, and emphasizes the importance of voting in this fall’s upcoming election. She also stresses the effectiveness of door-to-door canvassing, especially in neighboring districts outside of Orange County where seats are more competitive.

Together, the Orange County mayors signed off the statement with a promise of their shared commitment to building communities where everyone feels safe, welcome, and has the ability to thrive.

Gov. Roy Cooper also issued a statement the day of Roe v. Wade’s reversal in solidarity with women’s rights to make their own medical decisions, and vowed to “fight to keep politicians out of the doctor’s exam room.”

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