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RALEIGH – The North Carolina House of Representatives today voted to triple the state’s mandatory waiting period for women seeking abortion care to 72 hours. House Bill 465 now goes to the Senate. If the bill becomes law, North Carolina would become the fourth state in the nation – along with Missouri, South Dakota, and Utah – to require a waiting period of 72 hours.

“Instead of respecting a woman’s private medical decisions, this shameful bill is based on the condescending notion that a woman can’t or won’t take the time she needs to consult with her doctor and make the best decision for her own circumstances,” said Sarah Preston, Policy Director for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina. “In medical situations, there is never a one-size-fits-all solution. The government has no business interfering in health care decisions made by a woman and her doctor and making what can be a difficult situation even more challenging.”

Studies have shown that abortion is one of the safest medical procedures available. According to a 2014 report from the Guttmacher Institute, less than 0.05% of abortions result in complications requiring hospital care.

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RALEIGH and CHARLOTTE - The ACLU of North Carolina joined Equality NC, the Human Rights Campaign, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, business owners, and faith leaders in Raleigh and Charlotte today to deliver more than 10,000 signatures urging Gov. Pat McCrory to veto proposed "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" bills in North Carolina.

The Indiana-style proposals, Senate Bill 550 and House Bill 348, would allow people and businesses to bypass any laws they choose and to discriminate in the name of religious freedom, opening the door to discrimination against LGBT people and others. In recent weeks, major companies such as IBM, American Airlines, and Red Hat have voiced strong opposition to the bills as bad for business. Gov. McCrory has previously said the proposal "makes no sense" and is unnecessary, but has not promised the veto the bills if they are approved by the legislature.

North Carolina's bills go much further than allowing businesses to turn away gay people. They could open the floodgates for a landlord to evict a hardworking single mother, a doctor to deny care to the child of a same-sex couple, or a judge to pardon an abuser instead of protecting a domestic violence survivor – all under the guise of religious freedom.

Don’t let North Carolina make Indiana’s mistake. Legislators know that bills like this are bad for business. And ACLU supporters helped stop similar bills in Nevada, Montana, and Georgia by taking action.

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CHARLOTTE – Levine Museum of the New South is hosting a 10-panel history exhibit, “ACLU of North Carolina: Fifty Years of Protecting Liberty,” that chronicles the American Civil Liberties Union’s work defending civil liberties in North Carolina since the founding of its North Carolina affiliate in 1965.

The exhibit, which recounts the ACLU of North Carolina’s work on eight key civil liberties issues – free speech, voting rights, privacy rights, criminal justice reform, LGBT equality, women’s rights, racial justice, and religious liberty – is on display at Levine Museum of the New South 200 E. 7th Street in Charlotte through July 12

“This exhibit provides the public with an opportunity to learn about the history of civil liberties in our state and the unique role the ACLU of North Carolina has played in many important struggles for individual rights over the last half century,” said Jennifer Rudinger, who has served as executive director of the ACLU-NC since May 2004. “Much has changed in North Carolina over the last fifty years, but the core principle guiding the ACLU-NC has remained the same: If the rights of society’s most vulnerable members are denied, everyone’s rights are imperiled. Those who see this exhibit will hopefully walk away remembering that freedom can’t protect itself, and that the ACLU of North Carolina, while controversial to some, has spent five decades working on the front lines to protect and advance civil liberties for all North Carolinians.”   

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Message of Hope

Posted on in Racial Justice

Last week, a noose was found hanging from a tree in front of the student union at Duke University. Campus officials and students have rallied to condemn the act, and a student has since admitted to hanging the noose, according to officials.

In the aftermath, ACLU-NC Executive Director Jennifer Rudinger, a Duke alumna, wrote the following letter to the editor to the Duke Chronicle:

"As a 1991 graduate of Duke University, I read with profound sadness the reports of recent racial tensions on campus that culminated with the discovery of a noose hanging in front of the Bryan Center in the wee hours of April 1. The fact that some students of color have expressed that they feel unwelcome and unsafe needs to be taken very seriously. As difficult and painful as it can be for the dominant culture to look critically at our own reflection in the mirror, recognition of the microaggressions, biases, denial and in some cases, overt hate that has been exposed here is something that needs to happen not only at Duke but throughout the nation.

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