GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Gov. Cooper tackled issues with access to reproductive care alongside Planned Parenthood leadership in Raleigh Wednesday.
But with the closest Planned Parenthood locations anywhere from 50 to 100 miles away from Eastern Carolina, women face even more hurdles to receive that care.
Given that abortion, regardless of medical necessity, is still legal in our state until fetal viability, there are a few options for women seeking that care.
Medications can be prescribed at up to 10 weeks gestation. There is also a surgical abortion where a suction removes the pregnant tissue from the uterus.
With high gas prices and the 20-week ban lingering over their heads, women in the East are looking at even more challenges.
“Clients come to us, and they don’t have any insurance, and it’s really, really hard to get in anywhere if you have no insurance,” Melissa Radomicki said. “You’re going to be charged a ridiculous amount of money for a very minimal service.”
Radomicki works with victims of abuse at the Onslow Women’s Center. When she has to tell them how far they need to travel to get to an abortion clinic, she notices their discouragement.
They have to travel anywhere from 50 to 100 miles to a clinic, like Planned Parenthood, before they can find a medical provider to perform the procedures.
"As far as getting clients to those places, which is another hurdle because a lot of our clients don’t have transportation, or they can’t afford the gas prices right now...” Radomicki explained. “We do work with them to try to mitigate those barriers if abortion is the option that they want to go with.”
Cooper spoke at the Executive Mansion in Raleigh to address those hurdles for women across the state and signed an executive order protecting providers from prosecution by other states for performing abortion procedures.
“This order can help us make sure patients can get the care they need in North Carolina, even if they come from out of state,” Cooper said. “Politicians should not be in that exam room with a patient and her doctor.”
Still, advocates at the Onslow Women’s Center have a wish list of their own.
“I’d love to see some more low-income clinics. I’d love to see some more women’s centered clinics,” Radomicki said. “I think that’s another issue with healthcare in general, is that there’s not a lot of representation.”
According to data from the state Center for Health Statistics, more than 30,000 abortions were reported in our state in 2020, which is an increase of 5% from the year before.
Every story you see here is written, filmed, edited, fronted, and day-turned by Maddie. As an MMJ with WITN, she really does it all!