Paige Johnson: Undermining women

April 22, 2013 

Undermining women

We appreciate The N&O’s making clear in the April 11 article “Bill: No abortions for sex selection” that Planned Parenthood opposes gender discrimination and likewise opposes the legislature’s newest effort to undermine reproductive health care for women.

House Bill 716 turns doctors into investigators and their patients into suspects. It’s also worth noting that the world’s leading human rights groups have stated that abortion bans do not address the social, legal, economic and political conditions that promote discrimination against our daughters. In fact, cutting off essential reproductive health care only serves to jeopardize a woman’s ability to participate fully in society.

Interestingly, many of the same legislators who sponsored House Bill 716 filed another bill to allow employers, based on personal views, to discriminate against female employees by carving out birth control from their health insurance plans. Moreover, given the opportunity to sponsor a newly introduced Equal Pay Act, nary a sponsor of the abortion bill chose to sign on.

Gender discrimination is real, and there are countless ways in which lawmakers could work to improve the lives of girls and women without interfering in a woman’s personal decision to choose adoption, raise a child or end a pregnancy.

Paige Johnson

Vice president, External and Governmental Affairs, Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina

Chapel Hill

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