Carolina Democracy

Abortion is on the Ballot (Duh!)

September 19, 2022 JD Wooten Episode 37
Abortion is on the Ballot (Duh!)
Carolina Democracy
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Carolina Democracy
Abortion is on the Ballot (Duh!)
Sep 19, 2022 Episode 37
JD Wooten

Welcome back to Carolina Democracy! Today, we dive into Lt. Governor Mark Robinson’s CPAC speech from early August, then shift to a mash up of excerpts from several of our past guests on a topic that is front center in everyone’s mind right now – abortion. Plus, thoughts on other political issues from the past week.

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Contact Us: jd@carolinademocracy.com

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Welcome back to Carolina Democracy! Today, we dive into Lt. Governor Mark Robinson’s CPAC speech from early August, then shift to a mash up of excerpts from several of our past guests on a topic that is front center in everyone’s mind right now – abortion. Plus, thoughts on other political issues from the past week.

Learn More About Candidates from Today's Episode:

Other Resources: 

Carolina Forward:

Contact Us: jd@carolinademocracy.com

Follow Us:

Support the Show.

Lindsey Graham: The abortion issue in America has always been part of our political discourse and it will continue to be. If we take back the House and the Senate I can assure you we'll have a vote on our bill. If the Democrats are in charge, I don't know if he'll ever have a vote on our bill. 

Diamond Staton-Williams: It's between me and my doctor, now leave us alone.

[music transition]

JD Wooten: Hey everyone, welcome back to Carolina Democracy. I’m JD Wooten, and today we’re finally getting back to Lt. Governor Mark Robinson’s CPAC speech from early August. I’m not going to make you listen to the entire thing, but we are going to go through several key parts because I think the best way to call attention to it is to make sure people have actually heard his extremist remarks. Then we have a mash up of excerpts from several of our past guests on a topic that is front center in everyone’s mind right now – abortion. 

Before we get into anything else though, here are a few reminders for November election deadlines. If you want to vote by mail, the online absentee ballot portal is open and ballots have already started going out. The regular deadline to vote is October 14th, and one-stop early voting begins on October 20th. Remember, you can do same day registration and vote during one-stop early voting. November 1st is the deadline to request a mail-in ballot, but please don’t wait that long. And election day is November 8th.

Now for news updates. There was plenty of national news this past week, ranging from the confiscation of Mike Lindell’s phone at a Hardee’s to Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green evidently kicking a demonstrator. I mean, seriously? Hopefully I don’t really need to give any commentary on why having members of Congress kick people is bad. I think that one just stands on its own but I included it just in case you missed it in the news. 

The Justice Department has also appealed a limited portion of the judge’s order in Florida that froze the investigation into the classified documents recovered from Mar-a-Lago. The Justice Department has taken the position that there is no possible privilege concern over the limited set of actual, classified documents, which are only about 100 of the 11,000 or so recovered because those are property of the United States, as demonstrated by the classified markings, are not documents subject to attorney-client privilege or some kind of attorney work product privilege, and the current President of the United States has waived any executive privilege, if such a privilege even existed over classified documents. Even more bizarre in the judge’s order was that she ordered the special master to copy the classified materials and provide them to Trump’s attorneys, which flies in the face of protecting national security and may actually be providing evidence to key witnesses in the investigation into whether Trump and his legal team obstructed the efforts to recover the documents in the first place by destroying or removing records and submitting false affidavits that all documents had been returned. To be clear, I’m not suggesting President Trump has no possible privilege claims or interest in a special master as to unclassified documents, but the DOJ’s position on the 100 classified documents seems immensely reasonable here and I certainly hope the Appellate Court agrees with the DOJ here.

In other national news, Republican governors in border states seem hellbent on outdoing each other with their cruelty to migrants, with the latest ploy being Governor DeSantis’s stunt to fly migrants to Martha Vineyard. I get that people are frustrated with our border issues and I agree we need massive immigration reform and improved border policies to deal with immigration problems. But using a handful of vulnerable people fleeing from violence and oppression as political pawns in this way flies in the face of any colorable moral tradition I’ve ever heard of. It's cruelty, plain and simple. It’s also getting to the point that it strikes me the people orchestrating these stunts are playing with fire in that the details now emerging sound an awfully lot like kidnapping and human trafficking. It’s being reported that officials on the ground were even falsifying official government documents to ensure these migrants were successfully taken to Martha’s Vineyard in this latest stunt, and I struggle to see how that doesn’t run afoul of any number of laws. I get it, we need immigration reform. This does not do it and it does not help. It’s also quite likely a human rights violation, so knock it off. Also, an ironic twist to all of this may end up being that if these migrants are found to be victims of human trafficking, they may actually qualify for special visas and a path to citizenship we give to such victims. Time will tell. 

Now, before we talk about abortion, and the political gift that potential deep state actor Lindsey Graham gave Democrats last week, let’s dive into the CPAC conference a bit. A few weeks ago, President Biden warned of the threat to Democracy posed by MAGA Republicans. Well, CPAC is where they were hanging out in early August. And one of their major headliners? Victor Orban, the authoritarian prime minister of Hungary whose governance style has been compared to fascism by none other than former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, who before her death was an outspoken critic of the rising right-wing authoritarians of the world, including Orban and of course Trump.

Quick aside on the use of the term fascism. Don’t throw it around lightly, but don’t be afraid to use it if appropriate. We need to call a spade a spade. If you’re not sure what it means, don’t use it, because you’re just reaching for an attack label and it doesn’t help. It’s no better than calling those who support democracy Marxists. But again, if the shoe fits, by all means, go for it. Here’s a handy definition:

“Fascism is a far-right, authoritarian, ultranationalist political ideology and movement, characterized by a dictatorial leader, centralized autocracy, militarism, forcible suppression of opposition, belief in a natural social hierarchy, subordination of individual interests for the perceived good of the nation and race, and strong regimentation of society and the economy.”

Another definition is and “extreme militaristic nationalism, contempt for electoral democracy and political and cultural liberalism, a belief in natural social hierarchy and the rule of elites, and the desire to create a [community] in which individual interests would be subordinated to the good of the nation.”

Anyways, if you’re speaking at a conference in which Victor Orban is also a keynote address, you really need to reconsider your commitment to democracy. Or maybe you already have, and you think democracy be damned. Orban espouses many of the same views we’re hearing from the MAGA movement, condemning same-sex families, transgender rights, open borders, and even the mixing of races, while emphasizing Christian heritage. Orban said at one point, “Politics are not enough. This war is a culture war. We have to revitalize our churches, our families, our universities and our community institutions.” For a little more background on Orban, here’s an assessment from The Economist, with a conclusion that likely explains Orban’s presence at CPAC:

“[H]e has championed conservative values, turning Hungary into the “illiberal democracy” he promised voters in 2014. He has wiped gender studies from university curriculums, built a border fence to keep out refugees from war-torn Syria and elsewhere and written Christian values into the constitution. He has gerrymandered electoral laws grossly in his favor. Having packed the courts and the media with his allies, he controls Hungary’s institutions. That has cemented his power and eliminated an effective opposition. He has put swathes of the economy in the hands of cronies; his friends and family have grown rich. Much of that appeals to the American right.

The Economist went on to note that “Mr. Orban has been able to do this because his [political] party … won the popular vote in 2010, landing his alliance a supermajority in parliament. That allowed his government to pass a gerrymandered election law with impunity. He has since wooed voters with a culture-war narrative that exploited their fears. He makes much of Hungary’s Christian identity (around three quarters of Hungarians say they are Christian, though only 15% attend church on a weekly basis). Mr Orban also paints his country as a perpetual victim, emphasizing its loss of territory after the first world war and its decades of suffering under the yoke of the Soviet Union … But the specters he conjures are mostly imagined. He rails against “Muslim invaders” and on July 23rd he told crowds that “we do not want to become peoples of mixed race,” even though Hungary’s population is at least 84% white. In 2021 he banned “homosexual and transsexual propaganda” in schools and the media, adding insult to injury in one of the most homophobic countries in the EU. These tactics continue to bear fruit. In elections this year, [his party] won 53% of the popular vote.

Hungary provides American conservatives with a model of a Christian, ethno-nationalist state with limited checks and balances, where one party always wins, but which still appears to observe the rituals of democratic governance. It also shows how successful populist fear-mongering can prove with voters.”

So there, that explains Victor Orban at CPAC. This is who the MAGA extremists look up to. This is the threat to democracy President Biden was talking about a few weeks ago, front and center. Now let’s hear from North Carolina’s own Mark Robinson and some of his remarks at CPAC:

Mark Robinson: As always, very first thing I'm going to do is always, I'm going to thank my Lord and savior because Jesus Christ is the reason why we live in this blessed and prosperous land. I don't care what anybody says. The United States of America is a Christian nation founded on the principles and wisdom of Jesus Christ and so we give him thanks first and foremost above everything. 

JD Wooten: Alright, so we’ve got the appeal to Christian Nationalists out of the way up front. It’s certainly not subtle, but subtly isn’t the point here with right-wing extremism and the MAGA base. Also, perhaps he should skim the U.S. Constitution, especially the First Amendment. I don’t think he’ll find any reference to the U.S. being a Christian nation found on the principles of Jesus Christ. But hey, maybe I’m the one misreading that whole part about “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” The Lt. Governor went on:

Mark Robinson: Guys, it is time. And what is the time right now? The time is for Patriots in this nation to stand up and reclaim who we are as Americans. To no longer let CNN and ABC and CBS and all those leftists on the other side of the aisle from us define who we are as Americans, as Patriots, as Republicans. The time is now to define ourselves and stand up and do what we need to do, because here it is. 

As I said many times the proof is in the pudding. What conservatives have said about the left over the past 50 years at this present time is being proved true more than any other time in history. If you don't believe me, let's just take a look at the things that we always talk talk about. Let's take a look about that look at that crucial issue of life. You look at it in New York City, up in New York, one of the greatest states in this, in this nation, they literally cheered for infanticide. At every turn we see abortion being championed in this nation.

JD Wooten: Man, so much to unpack there. I’m not sure what his call to action really is, but he’s clearly calling for action. And his first example is abortion. I assume his reference to infanticide is New York’s Reproductive Health Act, passed in 2019, which allows for abortions up to 24 weeks without restrictions and after 24 weeks only if the fetus is not viable or if the pregnant person’s life or health is at risk. So basically, it codified Roe. Not exactly infanticide, to say the least, so we’ll note this as the first major fear-mongering argument. Moving on:

Mark Robinson: Now with COVID, we see people being turned away for crucial medical, uh, uh, procedures because they don’t want to relent to some type of mandate. Life means nothing to those folks on the left and they prove it every day. And in this time they’re proving it more and more.

JD Wooten: Ok, quick pause, I think that’s fear-mongering topic #2, this time vaccine mandates. But he gets back to vaccines later, so I’ll save that commentary. Ok, back to it:

Mark Robinson: You take a look at that crucial issue of self protection, of Americans being able to protect themselves. You know, we love to talk about the Second Amendment, but one thing we always forget is this. The Second Amendment is a God given right. God gave us the right to self defense. And I can guarantee you, there are places around the world right now that wish they had a Second Amendment in their constitution. Places like Australia where we've seen terrible things happening under what's become almost a totalitarian dictatorship. Places like just north of the border here in Canada under Castro. Excuse me. I mean, Trudeau. I forgot um, I forgot what decade I was in. Now more than ever it's being proven that men need the right, people need to right, free people need the right to be able to defend themselves and defend their freedoms.

JD Wooten: Full disclosure, some of the audio cut out in the middle there, but best I can tell, it was additional comments about God giving us the right to bear arms, so I don’t think we really lost any important context. I like how he’s sprinkling in some Christian Nationalism just to keep that pump primed, and what better want to do that than with some false macho bravado energy about men needing big guns. I also like that he kind of catches himself and says people need the right to guns, not just men, but the damage was already done in the Freudian slip. Also, what’s up with his animosity toward Australia and Canada? Did I miss something, other than they happen to have functioning democracies? I did some Googling, and Tucker Carlson and some rant about COVID policies in Australia came up. I didn’t want to rot my brain, and I figured if I read more it would just annoy me, but suffice to say this is probably just a case of Mark Robinson’s devotion to Fox Propaganda showing through. I will acknowledge he managed to skip the usual refrain that the leftist Marxist are coming to take your guns, so I’ll be nice and not add this one to the tally of fear-mongering topics. Ok, back to the speech:

Mark Robinson: And then you look at the issue, the issue of education in this nation. You know, back in my home state of North Carolina, we are fighting tooth and nail in North Carolina to straighten out our education system. We spend almost half of our state budget on education in North Carolina and our children can't read at a grade level. Meanwhile pornography is in our libraries. We're in classrooms, teaching children about adult issues like transgenderism. And we're setting black children on one side of the room and white children on the other side and teaching them to despise each other. If ever that was a time for conservatives to stand up in this nation and fight back for our children, is now. Right now. Parents concerned about their children's education being called terrorists. Politicians who are standing against the evils in our school being demonized. Folks is time to stand up and fight back. The time is right now.

JD Wooten: I’ll give him credit, he packed a lot in there, that’s for sure. In addition to lamenting that despite half of our state’s budget is spent on education, we’ve got kids that can’t read, and yet he still seems to suggest that we’re spending too much on education. And somehow he works in pornography, transphobia, a nod to attacking the non-existent critical race theory in schools, and school board fights, as best I can tell, all wrapped in there. It’s a dense paragraph for sure. I was generous earlier allowing him a pass on calling his 2nd Amendment remarks fearmongering, but this paragraph sure did make up for it. I think we’ve got at least five new fearmongering topics all rolled together – kids struggling to read at grade level, pornography in the schools, which I’m pretty sure is his reference for banning certain books, transphobia, attacks on diversity and inclusion, and demonization of parents. But wait, there’s more:

Mark Robinson: And then you take a look, take a look at what's going on with our police officers and law and order in this country. Every time I turn around, there's another police officer being murdered, being assassinated, being assaulted, being charged with something that they have not done. Whole time, the crime rate, it's spiraling out of control. Why? Because the criminals are watching. The criminals are watching the politicians in their neighborhoods allow them to get away with anything they want to get away with. And then watching some conservatives tuck tail and run on this issue. Now is the time for conservatives to stand strong on this issue and back the blue. And make sure police officers are protected as they do their jobs on the street.

JD Wooten: He had to get in some crime spree fearmongering, didn’t he? I mean, what’s a good CPAC speech that doesn’t mention soaring crime rates that are spiraling out of control? I will say, I love what he did there to strike a balance in those remarks to also acknowledge victims of over policing and police brutality, and calling for improvements to police training and funding so that we can better achieve true community policing and safe communities. Really working hard to tell the story from both perspectives to encourage some unity and healing as we work to improve community safety. Well done sir, well done. Now, he did circle back to abortion and had this to say:

Mark Robinson: No medical board, no pharmacist, or anybody else has the right to stand in between you and your doctor, when it comes to something called medical freedom. That's your choice, your doctor's choice, and you should make it. Not the governor, not the mayor, or anybody else.

JD Wooten: Kidding, that was his stance on whether you should be able to take ivermectin for COVID. Here’s the whole bit:

Mark Robinson: Then we need to take a look at what's going on with this thing called COVID. You know, COVID is the virus. But you know what the real virus is? The real virus is Democrats. The real virus is totalitarian leftist thugs who have used this virus to brow beat the American people and have used it for political purposes. Now I'm gonna go ahead and stand here and tell you on this stage right now, I'm not against the vaccine. I'm not smart enough to be against the vaccine. I have no idea what's in it. I'm not here to tell you not to take it. And I'm not here to tell you to take it. What I'm here to tell you is, that as an elected official, it's my job to make sure you get it if you want it. But it's also my job to make sure that if your doctor wants to treat you with ivermectin that it's there, ready, and available. And that no medical board, no pharmacist, or anybody else has the right to stand in between you and your doctor, when it comes to something called medical freedom. That's your choice, your doctor's choice, and you should make it. Not the governor, not the mayor, or anybody else? And what's been going on with this COVID thing is just a sign of things to come if they get total control. 

JD Wooten: So yeah, I just love the irony of the bit I played earlier in isolation and thinking about medical freedom in the context of abortion. It’s like he’s so close to understanding personal autonomy and personal freedom, but only when it’s his way. And let’s not gloss over that he’s also now made the turn to dehumanizing Democrats, his perceived enemy, a classic tactic of far-right authoritarians. If Orban was listening in, I’m sure he was nodding with approval. And lest he get too far into a right-wing MAGA speech without directly undermining democracy, here you go:

Mark Robinson: And then there's another issue that we've been looking at also. Been looking at it real close. This thing called election integrity. I don't care what you tell me, 83,000 people did not vote for Joe Biden. I don't think 83 million people know who Joe Biden is. Joe Biden doesn't know who Joe Biden. Joe Biden is an incompetent, incontinent, nit-wit who has ruined everything he has touched from Afghanistan to where you stand. He's ruined everything he's touched. If there was ever a time in this country when it was time for us to stand up against the wilds of the federal government, it is now.

JD Wooten: Man, really? Coming after the President kind of hard there aren’t you? Incontinent nitwit, really? Also, if you’re going to call someone incompetent, try not to get your numbers mixed up in the same sentence, it really undercuts the message. And what’s up with the attempted rhyming “from Afghanistan to where you stand?” I’m exhausted just trying to think of things to say at this point, but he really did manage to hit most of the high note for fear mongering, uncertainty, and doubt. You’ve got COVID fears, transphobia, guns, leftists trying to take away your Christian nation, infanticide, education, book banning, attacks on diversity and inclusion, COVID again, conspiracies about President Biden’s mental acuity, and of course the Big Lie. That was just the first 7 minutes or so of a roughly 12-minute speech. I’m not going to make you listen to any more, you get the picture. As much as we may lament the rise of Christian Nationalism, right-wing extremism, and the MAGA movement on a national scale, we have a lot of it right here in North Carolina and it goes all the way up to the highest elected Republican in the state, Lt. Governor Mark Robinson. For the sake of Democracy, we really need to make sure he doesn’t win another election in this state.

Now, shifting gears a bit, this past week, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham introduced a national 15-week abortion ban with few exceptions. It wouldn’t be a total ban at 15-weeks, but it wouldn’t allow for exceptions for the health of the mother, only the life of the mother, so the main reason a lot of these later abortions even happen would not be possible. At that stage of a pregnancy, a woman is by definition expecting to carry the pregnancy to term, and it’s a devastating loss for any person or couple to have to go through. It’s not done lightly or on some whim, but rather due to medical diagnoses of severe abnormalities and health conditions that make these pregnancies extremely dangerous to the mothers and usually mean that the fetus will not survive, no matter what, after birth. Perhaps the fetus doesn’t have a heartbeat, or is missing organs. Whatever it is, forcing parents to carry such a fetus to term is inhumane.

All that said, we got this great soundbite from Lindsey Graham reminding us exactly what’s at stake in this election:

Lindsey Graham: The abortion issue in America has always been part of our political discourse and it will continue to be. If we take back the House and the Senate I can assure you we'll have a vote on our bill. If the Democrats are in charge, I don't know if he'll ever have a vote on our bill. 

JD Wooten:That’s right, after arguing for decades that abortion should be up to the states, and after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe on the argument that this is a state issue, the GOP has now introduced a national abortion ban. When candidates and activists warn that a national abortion ban is on the table if Republicans retake Congress, it’s not a guess, albeit that was a pretty good guess. Lindsey Graham has now promised it, and our own U.S. Senate Candidate Ted Budd is backing it by signing on as a co-sponsor of a House version of Graham’s bill.  

Interestingly, this comes at the same time a lot of GOP candidates are trying their hardest to run away from abortion as the election approaches. This is the first election cycle I can remember in a long time where the anger and energy is on the side of an issue Democrats really want to be campaigning on in the first place. We’re even seeing candidates like Bo Hines, running against Wiley Nickel in the 13th Congressional District, scrubbing their websites of references to abortion or otherwise downplaying it significantly. I don’t know if abortion will be enough to overcome economic factors this election cycle, but it can’t hurt, and Lindsey Graham has likely done Democrats everywhere an enormous favor with this bill, hence the reference to Graham being a potential deep state actor I made earlier, and which I stole outright from PoliticsNC. I thought it was funny, so here’s a plug for our friends at PoliticsNC – go check them out and subscribe for some good commentary on North Carolina politics.

So for the rest of this episode, and in light of Senator Graham affirming that abortion is on the ballot this November, I thought we could do a little mashup of how some of our past guests have talked about abortion. 

My favorite one liner on abortion came from Diamond Staton-Williams:

Diamond Staton-Williams: It's between me and my doctor, now leave us alone.

JD Wooten:We’ll get to her full comments in a moment, but I thought that was as good as any place to start. Also this is not everyone, but rather a few that I thought were particularly on point and who are in competitive races this cycle and need your support. So here it goes:

JD Wooten: With me today is Mary Wills Bode, who's running to represent District 18 in the North Carolina Senate. 

Mary Wills Bode: Welcome Mary Wills. Hey, thanks for having me JD. 

JD Wooten: We recently saw Roe v. Wade get overturned with the Dobbs decision. As I understand it, you and your opponent have starkly different views on this. And I would love if you could characterize how those views differ, especially yours and why your seat is so important to which of those visions might actually become reality in North Carolina? 

Mary Wills Bode: Yeah, definitely. So my opponent does not believe that reproductive healthcare is justified under any circumstance, you know, not rape, incest, life of the mother. He doesn't believe that that, that it should ever be allowed. You know, my grandmother's best friend died from a back alley abortion. I have very close friends who have had to have reproductive healthcare options because they had ectopic pregnancies. I mean, this comes down to healthcare and making sure that as you mentioned, you know, the government is not in the exam room with a woman in her physician when she needs healthcare. And you know, anyone who says that there's no situation where this should be allowed is not tethered to the reality of a very complicated, personal healthcare decision that many people face. And so, you know, we're going to be fighting very hard through November to make sure that folks are very educated about the clear choice, as you mentioned, that's in front of them. My seat and Senator Sydney Batch's seat will be the two seats we have to win in order to make sure that Governor Cooper has veto power in the North Carolina State Senate. This is about protecting the health and wellbeing of women in North Carolina. I don't want to go back to a world where women are dying in back alleys cause they couldn't get healthcare. And, and the truth of the matter JD is that vast majority of people agree with that, right? They agree that we don't want to go back there. And so we're seeing this as a very serious issue that folks are really concerned about. 

JD Wooten: With me today is State Senator Sydney Batch who represents District 17, covering Southern Wake County, in the North Carolina Senate. Welcome Senator Batch. 

Sydney Batch: Thank you for having me. It's good to see you. So I think right now we're really at a critical juncture in democracy. Everybody says every election is most important. I think people are tired of hearing that. But the reality is is that every single election becomes more important and there's more at stake. And we see that time and time again. With the Dobbs decision coming out, and Roe being struck down, and for the first time in, you know, 49 years, women don't have a choice in many states, 11 I believe in this country, to be able to determine their own destinies and also control of their own bodies. North Carolina is literally the southern state, the only southern state right now that has not had significant restrictions and or elimination of abortion. And that's because of Governor Cooper and also the Democrats that have been able to be able to sustain his veto. 

JD Wooten: With me today is Marcia Morgan of New Hanover County, a former educator and retired Army Colonel, who is running to represent District 7 in North Carolina Senate. Welcome Marcia. 

Marcia Morgan: Good morning. Thank you for having me. Some of the things that I guess I would say influenced my political positions today, and one that's at the forefront right now, is the issue of abortion. When my mother was growing up, the custom then was that young women couldn't have apartments of their own. So they lived with families, they would rent a room somewhere. And when my mother was in high school, she became friends with the woman who was living with them. And they went in one day to find the woman had bled out from a botched abortion. So from that point on, she was adamant that abortions had to be legal and safe. And we were just, we were raised that way so that, that's, like I said, that's kind of front and center right now.

JD Wooten: With me today is New Handover native Amy Block DeLoach running for North Carolina House District 20. Welcome Amy. 

Amy Block DeLoach: Hey, how are you? 

JD Wooten: I'm well, thanks so much for joining us today. There's been a lot of chatter about what North Carolina Republicans will do and how they'll approach abortion if they get the super majority in the legislature again. How do you and your opponent differ in your views on privacy, personal autonomy, the right to choose?

Amy Block DeLoach: There couldn't be a more stark difference on any issue than it is here with abortion. The continued legality of abortion in North Carolina could come down to this race. People forget how recently women have gained rights in this country. For example, when my grandmother was born, she didn't have the right to vote. When my mother was born, she didn't have access to contraception. When I was born, there was no access to abortion. This is the biggest step to take women back, backwards in a century. In 2011 or so, I think it's around 2011, Ted Davis was on the county board of commissioners. He made a comment that if women didn't have the sex to begin with, we wouldn't have this problem. He's just out of touch with what the real issues facing our community are. It kind of sums up Ted Davis's views on women's rights. He has no empathy for the loss of fundamental rights for women. If you care about protecting women's rights in North Carolina, the best thing that we can do is replace Ted Davis with a woman.

JD Wooten: With me today is Diamond Staton-Williams, Harrisburg town Councilwoman and candidate for the North Carolina House District 73. Welcome, Diamond. 

Diamond Staton-Williams: Hi, how are you doing JD? 

JD Wooten: I'm great. Thanks for being here today. We know that North Carolina is currently a state where women can still get access to abortion and the reproductive healthcare that they need. But a lot of people worry that if we don't maintain enough seats in the General Assembly to protect Governor Cooper's veto, we could see a back sliding on that. So how important is your seat, do you think, to holding onto enough votes that we can sustain Governor Cooper's veto? 

Diamond Staton-Williams: I believe there are six seats that would be pivotal in maintaining Governor Cooper's veto. There's no time like now, especially for women, to be more involved and invested in what happens here in North Carolina and being able to make decisions for themselves. This is a very slippery slope. I think more people should hear that. Once people come for one right, what's the next thing that they're going to come for? It's not going to stop there. And it is other people's ideals of what life should be, that I do not want to be a part of. I want be a part of a society and community where people are given the opportunity and freedom to make choices of their own. And for me to be an advocate for them and not a judger of them, right? Living in the Bible belt, that's what, what we grew up on. I'm not supposed to judge you, but I'm supposed to be here to support you and provide you with everything that you need to be successful and to treat you as Jesus would. That is my goal. That should be everyone's goal. I, well, I don't want to say should. It, it is a goal for many people and knowing that this seat is top six to be able to maintain that for a lot of people, I need more people to be able to get out and do what needs to be done. Because the choices and decisions that come after me, they, they don't impact me right now. They impact my kids. They impact my grandkids and everyone else behind me. So we have to be at the table. We, we just have to be, because if we're not we're on the menu and I don't like being on anyone's menu, I want to be at the table making decisions that impact me and my family and other people's families as well.

JD Wooten: I love that metaphor. And I know there are a lot of naysayers that say, oh, you're overreacting talking about other liberties. Justice Thomas wrote it in his concurrence. 

Diamond Staton-Williams: Exactly. And it always surprises me sometimes when men, men of power utilize. Women's choices to benefit themselves, but not to let it benefit the other people or women. So, just know that this is something that is based in misogyny and we have to do something about it. We just have to do something about it. I, I don't want my kids to grow up in that. 

[music transition]

JD Wooten:Well that wraps it up for today. Thanks again to everyone for listening today. If you have questions or comments, send me an email at jd@carolinademocracy.com. And quick reminder, the Carolina Democracy Podcast is not affiliated with or authorized by any candidate, candidate’s committee, or other political committee or organization, and does not endorse any candidates. Together, we can achieve a better North Carolina for everyone!

Introduction
Lt. Gov. Robinson's Remarks
Abortion Issue
Closing Notes