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July 9, 2013 / Press Releases

Transcript of Speech by Ilyse Hogue at North Carolina State House, Raleigh, NC, July 9, 2013

July 9, 2013

[email protected]

Transcript may deviate slightly from remarks as delivered.

Hey ya’ll, it’s really really good to be here. And I come bearing armfuls of energy and support from the people of Texas where I was last week, where they lined up by the hundreds last night to speak out against their own legislation that tries to take away women’s rights and jeopardize our health. And I bring the wishes and frustration of people across America who tweeted and Facebooked me to ask that I tell you all how much they wish they could be here today.

One man said to me “tell them that some of us get it, that we know this is not really about abortion; it’s about the critical America cornerstones of freedom and independence. It’s about who knows best what’s right for my family – my wife, my daughter, me? Or some politicians who think they know better. That’s not what America is about.”

I think they get it, though. Rep. Tillis, Gov. McCrory, and especially the politicians in the state house that are driving this extreme agenda. They know how out of step they are with American values and the needs of modern families. That’s why they do these things in the dark of night.

You know, it’s not that hard to tell if you’re doing the right thing.

  • If you have to leave a bill off the public calendar to keep people from finding out about it, you probably aren’t doing the right thing.
  • If you take a bill written to ban Sharia law of all things, and use it to sneak in new restrictions on the freedom of North Carolina women, you probably aren’t doing the right thing – and you have absolutely no sense of irony.
  • If you have to lie to children in the schools, give young people bad information about their own health, you probably aren’t doing the right thing.
  • If your own party’s governor has to scold you for the underhanded tactics you used to pass that bill, then you DEFINITELY aren’t doing the right thing.

But that’s what we’re seeing around the country. North Carolina is not alone. In too many states, politicians are carrying the water for a radical minority who think they know how to live our lives better than we do. We all know these people: they’re the neighbors who don’t like your curtains and will tell you so. They raise their eyebrows at how you raise your children and whisper about anyone different in the grocery store. And now, they are using their friends in the legislature to insert themselves into our most personal decisions about who, and when, and how we have families.

And these folks believe the ends justify the means. They don’t care if women get hurt, if children are lied to, and they certainly don’t care if politicians skirt due process, the laws of our land, to get their way.

Are these North Carolina values? Are these American values? Inserting politicians into our private medical decisions? Shutting down the clinics we depend on? Turning doctors into criminals? Forcing teachers to lie to students about abortion?

I’m guessing that parents here in North Carolina teach their kids the difference between right and wrong, just like my parents did in Texas. And I bet one of the first lessons you learned, just like I did, was that cheaters never win.

Is cheating to pass a bill that the people of this state have said loud and clear that they do not want a North Carolina value? Is it a Texas value? Is it an Ohio value? No it’s not! Because it’s not an American value.

And changing the rules won’t make it so. Whether it’s silencing opposition, sneaking restrictions through in the dark of night, or forcing a governor to go back on his campaign promises, history has proven our parents right. Cheaters will never win.

Let’s stop this cheating right here in North Carolina. I want you to call Speaker Tillis and Gov. McCrory. Write them a letter. Send them an email. Show up at their front door if you have to but make sure they know that it is time to stand up for North Carolina values, to stand up for North Carolina women, to stop the cheating, to do the right thing, and to kill this terrible bill.

Because our opposition didn’t count on one thing – that we will fight back. That we have had enough!

NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”


Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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