‘They can change access to abortion by turning out to vote’: Davidson College professor speaks about Roe v. Wade being overturned

Dr. Susan Roberts of Davidson College has studied access to abortion for years now and discussed possible ramifications of the Supreme Court's decision.
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 11:36 PM EDT
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DAVIDSON, N.C. (WBTV) - Dr. Susan Roberts, a professor of politics at Davidson College, has studied access to abortion in the United States for a decade. While people across the country reacted viscerally to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe V. Wade Friday, Roberts said she was not surprised to hear that the historic court ruling had been overturned.

“The pro-life movement has been active for so long and the group that I study, Americans United for Life, has been very stealth-like in how they approach this,” said Roberts. “It’s not like they were having rallies. People expect the March for Life, the Women’s March, but they don’t know that little things have been happening to erode access to abortion.”

As abortion is set to become illegal in several states across the country, Roberts explained that North Carolina will remain a ‘safe’ state for the procedure. The professor did note that despite abortions being legal in North Carolina, they may become more difficult to obtain as other states outlaw the procedure.

“Demand is going to exceed supply. You may have women come from Tennessee, from Louisiana,” said the college professor. “There are only nine (North Carolina) counties that have abortion clinics. Women have to take time off from work, childcare if they have children.”

Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore have already requested that Attorney General Josh Stein reinstate a 20-week abortion ban. The ban would outlaw abortions performed after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Stein posted a message on social media Friday to make it clear that women can still legally get abortions in the Tar Heel State.

While North Carolina is currently a ‘safe’ state for abortions, Roberts said the procedure could be restricted if Republicans gain control of the state house, state senate and governor’s office.

“The way the pro-choice movement can really make a difference is look at 2022 and turn out, but that’s the same recipe on the pro-life side,” she explained.

The Davidson College professor said she thinks the Roe v. Wade ruling being overturned will energize voters for the upcoming general election.

“I think marches are great, but not to mistake that and how cathartic that might be, but not to mistake that for something that’s going to change the minds of legislators necessarily. They can change access to abortion by turning out to vote,” said Roberts.

The general election will be held November 8, 2022.

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