"Republicans have made the greatest political mistake of our lifetimes."

Published May 11, 2023

By Gary Pearce

That’s how political analyst Simon Rosenberg sees SB 20, the draconian abortion bill that was rammed though the state legislature by Republicans.

Rosenberg spoke Tuesday night on a Zoom call with about 200 N.C. Democrats, organized by Carolina Forward.

He cited a poll released this week by Carolina Forward and Change Research showing that voters in the state oppose the bill 54-40. And that’s before voters find out the bill gets worse the more they see what’s in its 47 pages. (See links below.)

Rosenberg said Democrats should hammer on the issue in 2024. “We have to be aggressive talking about how crazy they (Republicans) have gotten.”

When Rosenberg speaks, I listen. He was one of the few analysts to push back against the “red wave” myth in 2022. He was right, though North Carolina went wrong. Democrats here didn’t push the abortion issue hard enough.

Governor Roy Cooper isn’t making that mistake. On Saturday, he’s holding the state’s first Veto Rally.

There’s a sliver of hope one Republican legislator will see the light – or feel the heat – and support Cooper’s veto.

Regardless, Democrats should talk about the abortion bill for the next 18 months. And keep talking about it every election cycle until they prevail.

The issue is simple: Who decides – the pregnant woman or a politician?

Before now, many North Carolina Democrats have been reluctant to engage on abortion.

Nearly 40 years ago, in the final weeks of the Jim Hunt-Jesse Helms Senate race, we in the Hunt campaign raised the issue. Hunt was pro-choice. Helms supported banning abortions and even birth control.

But the issue unnerved and unsettled many Hunt supporters. The campaign command backed off.

To this day, I believe a sustained offensive on the issue would have won the election for us.

Don’t make that mistake, Democrats. This time, with this bill, it’s too important.

Poll: https://carolinaforward.org/blog/voters-reject-abortion-bans/

These two examinations of SB20 show it’s not “mainstream,” it’s extreme: