After the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, North Carolina became, along with Virginia, one of two Southern states that allowed for people to make their own decisions about their pregnancies.

So far, it’s been good for business.

We’ve already swiped a feature film shoot from Arkansas, where a trigger law went into effect. An influx of abortion seekers from South Carolina, where a trigger law outlawed abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, has necessitated growth in our state’s 14 providers.

Gov. Cooper signed an Executive Order last week protecting abortion rights in our state, and for anyone who comes here looking for one.

And, for now, this is the law of the land. Certainly our GOP-majority General Assembly has tried to get a trigger law on the books, and would have passed a forced-birth bill this month if they knew Gov. Cooper wouldn’t have vetoed it immediately. They’re hoping for a veto-proof majority after the election, and have vowed to bring this up next session if they do. Or, probably, even if they don’t.

And so, to the informed voter, the coming election in November will look like something of a ballot referendum on abortion access, though unevenly distributed. But the shorthand is this: Republican House and Senate members must oppose all abortion access; Democrats must embrace it. Then we let the voters sort it out.

Among the populace, the pro-choice maintains a slim lead over the forced-birth faction — just 4 points, according to Pew Research. And the way our state is gerrymandered makes representative government sort of a joke.

But “populace” does not always mean “registered voters,” and even registered voters don’t always turn out for off-year elections like this one. As always, higher turnout favors the left. The GOP platform is an exercise in minority rule, and reality has a well-known progressive bias.

Our Senate race, too, will have an effect on the future of abortion in the US.

President Biden’s Executive Order does much to protect abortion rights in the here and now. But he specifically requested two more pro-rights Senators to make a Constitutional Amendment protecting this right. Just so happens we have one of those races right here, competing for the seat Republican Sen. Richard Burr gave up when he got disgusted with the whole thing.

A win for Cheri Beasley would put us half of the way there. And it’s impossible to gerrymander a statewide race.

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