'Heartbroken': Planned Parenthood reacts on new abortion restrictions

DeJuan Hoggard Image
Thursday, May 18, 2023
Planned Parenthood reacts on new abortion restrictions
Planned Parenthood executive reacts less than 24 hours after state lawmakers voted along party lines to override Governor Roy Cooper's veto of Senate Bill 20.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Less than 24 hours after state lawmakers voted along party lines to override Governor Roy Cooper's veto of Senate Bill 20, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic executive Jenny Black described herself in the defeat as, "Heartbroken, angry, determined. In that order."

The president and CEO of the regional Planned Parenthood operation said the organization's continued work remains on the health and care for women and "fighting" for them as well.

"We stand ready to help you understand what your options are," Black said. "And the new barriers that just came into place last night."

Black, like many others disappointed with the veto override, found themselves both amused and upset with how quickly they learned about the bill and its passage.

"It's only been two weeks since this bill was even introduced. So quite frankly we're still trying to analyze and understand all that might be baked into this monster bill," said Black. "There's a lot of confusing language here. A lot of non-medical language to describe medical procedures that don't make sense to providers. And so we're really trying to figure out how they're trying to comply, if we can comply, and what certain terms and conflicting concepts mean. And that might mean legal challenges. But we're still analyzing all options on the table."

She encouraged all women to continue with their scheduled appointments and to contact Planned Parenthood centers to arrange for care before it's too late with the bill's July 1st enactment date.

NC Values Coalition executive director, Tami Fitzgerald, argued for women to consider an alternative option.

"This is compassion toward those women. It provides a safety net of care so they don't have to use abortion as their only option," she said. "They can choose life."

Fitzgerald and others call the veto override a "great, first step."

"How much compromising are we supposed to do," asked Black. "There is already a compromised position in North Carolina."

Fitzgerald replied, "I think at this point Planned Parenthood is just throwing out anything they to oppose this bill. Which is a pretty rational, middle ground on abortion."

Black said Planned Parenthood is prepared to "explore all options", but stopped just short of saying if they would pursue legal action to prevent further abortion restrictions.

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"I don't know how Planned Parenthood plans to fight. But I assume that means they're threatening to file a lawsuit. And that's fine," said Fitzgerald. "They have their right to file a lawsuit. Our next step is to look forward to the legislation and to keep moving forward to protect as many unborn babies and their mothers as possible."

According to Fitzgerald, NC Values received hate mail following Tuesday night's veto override.

"It's a shame we live in a society where when you lose a vote on an issue, you cannot be a good loser. You just start attacking the other side," she said.

When asked if further abortion restrictions were looming, Fitzgerald added, "Of course, there can't be bills filed this session on any type of abortion ban. So we'll just wait and see what happens two years from now."

"I think we should take them at their word that this means we have more plans for us," said Black. "I don't think they're going to stop until abortion is completely illegal or inaccessible in North Carolina."