North Carolina Department of Justice
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Attorney General Josh Stein Announces that State Will Appeal Abortion Ruling Without His Participation

Release date: 6/24/2019

(RALEGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today announced that he will not participate in the state’s appeal of the current version of the North Carolina abortion statute. He has directed career lawyers at the North Carolina Department of Justice, led by Solicitor General Matt Sawchak to handle this case.
 
Attorney General Stein released the following statement about his decision:
 
“I strongly support a woman’s right to make her own reproductive healthcare decisions. For nearly 50 years, a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion has been recognized by the US Supreme Court. Recently, Judge William Osteen — a federal district court judge appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush — held that North Carolina’s abortion statute does not sufficiently respect that constitutional right. 
 
“Recently, the Trump Administration has taken aim at women’s reproductive freedoms and health in several ways. It slashed federal funding for healthcare, limited access to contraception, and imposed a gag rule on doctors and other health care workers informing women of their options. And states across the nation are taking radical actions to restrict choice, including Alabama’s criminalizing all abortions, even in the case of rape or incest.
 
“In this hostile environment, it is critical for those who support women’s freedoms to speak out. I intend to do so, and for that reason, I am unwilling to participate in the appeal of the ruling that struck down the current version of the North Carolina abortion statute. That appeal will be handled by career lawyers in the Department of Justice without my involvement.”
 
Today’s action marks only the second time Attorney General Stein has decided not to participate in a case and referred it to career staff. The other case involved partisan gerrymandering of Congressional districts two years ago.

A copy of the notice of appeal is available here.

Contact:
Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484
 

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