As members of the committee organizing the IAGSDC 2024 convention, Carolina Twirl 2024 in Durham, North Carolina, we have received a few notes and comments regarding recent actions by the North Carolina legislature. Our response to these questions and comments are as shown below.
We are all dismayed by the recent override of Governor Cooper’s veto of the abortion ban. Unfortunately, efforts to deny women the right to control their own bodies have made a number of inroads in states across the country with North Carolina being the latest to join the likes of Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Perhaps we can glean some small hope from the fact that the North Carolina voters elected a governor who vetoed the recent bill (unlike many other states where the anti-abortion bills were a key part of the governors’ campaign promises).
The residents of the Durham area are fortunate in having as their elected representatives to the North Carolina General Assembly four staunch defenders of a woman’s right to choose (Vernetta Alston, Zack Hawkins, B. Ray Jeffers, and Marcia Morey) all of whom voted to sustain Governor Cooper’s veto, as did the Durham area state senators (Natalie Murdock and Mike Woodard). It is also worth mentioning that North Carolina’s 4th district in the US House of Representatives (which includes Durham) is represented by Valerie Foushee, who continues to support efforts that would ensure abortion access for all women. She has also been a longtime supporter of LGBTQ+ rights. We understand the frustration and desire to find some way to indicate opposition to the ongoing efforts to restrict abortion access at the state levels. At the same time, we also believe that supporting local communities who are working to oppose those restrictions is also a legitimate way to respond. The Durham Convention Committee respects every individual’s personal decision on how best to respond to the ongoing assaults on our freedoms.
So please remember when considering whether or not to attend Carolina Twirl 2024 in Durham, the community where the convention is being held has our back, has stood up for our rights, and deserves our support as they continue to fight from within the system.
Looking forward to seeing you all in Durham for Carolina Twirl 2024!