UPDATED with a comment from the governor’s office.
Gov. Pat McCrory’s attempt to placate pro-choice activists a year ago was remembered on Thursday by activists who tried to give him a box of broken cookies – to symbolize what they called his broken promise not to support restrictions on abortion.
“It’s been a year, and we’re continuing to fight back. This has a very real impact on woman’s lives and woman’s safety,” said Suzanne Buckley, the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice NC, a group that advocates for reproductive rights.
The law stops government insurance plans from providing abortion coverage and allows physicians to opt out of performing the procedure if it’s against their beliefs. It also says doctors who give abortions can be sued by the patient or her spouse. DHHS has been directed to establish new medical standards for abortion clinics, which they are still working on.
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Ryan Tronovitch, a spokesperson from McCrory’s office, called the cookie guesture a “little PR stunt” in a e-mail and added: “This group seems more interested in playing politics than anything.”
After the bill passed the legislature last summer, pro-choice supporters gathered across from the Executive Mansion to protest. McCrory brought them a plate of cookies, a gesture that many still are upset about.
“I’m here basically because I want McCrory to stop being a jerk,” said Elisabeth Jones, a Raleigh native who took part in the demonstration. “I’ve lived here my entire life, and as I’ve grown up, it’s become a state I’m not proud of anymore.”
The protest was quickly shut down by law enforcement, who said the group didn’t have a permit and then drove away with cookies.