A North Carolina state leader for Planned Parenthood was among 64 people arrested on Monday while protesting the “sneak attack” on reproductive rights approved by state lawmakers last week.
“I want these politicians to see that with every attack, they are creating a fierce and ever stronger opposition,” Planned Parenthood for central North Carolina President Janet Colm wrote in a column published Tuesday at the Huffington Post. “We’re making it impossible for politicians to ignore us, no matter how hard they try. That’s why I decided to get arrested, along with more than 60 others, at the most recent Moral Monday protest yesterday.”
The Associated Press reported that more than 700 people have been arrested protesting the state’s Republican-heavy General Assembly over the past two months.
“I have stood in solidarity with [demonstrators] for the past 10 weeks, just as they have stood in support of North Carolina women, their children and the men who love them,” Colm wrote. “I believe that all these issues are connected — education, health care, prenatal care, unemployment benefits, support for domestic violence services, early education, voting rights — and access to birth control, accurate sex education, and abortion. This is how we make our state better. This is how we give our children a chance for a better life. This is only right.”
The state assembly moved on July 2 to tack six anti-abortion measures onto House Bill 695, which was originally written to stop courts from using Sharia law and other foreign law systems in cases involving family law. As a result, all but one of the state’s abortion providers could be forced out of business for not meeting state guidelines for surgical centers.
“The odds may be stacked against us, due to the overwhelming advantage that opponents of women’s health have in state legislatures like ours,” Colm wrote. “But with every attack, I see firsthand that these politicians are creating a new generation of activists who will take this state — and our country — back.”
Watch footage from Monday’s protest, posted online by Story of America, below.