In a PR move that seems like it wasn't really thought through, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory offered chocolate chip cookies to protesters outside his mansion in Chapel Hill on Tuesday. The women and men gathered were speaking out against SB 353, a bill restricting abortion that McCrory signed into law on Monday.
McCrory was flanked by four security guards when he passed off the treats to Chapel Hill resident Jamie Sohn, who says he told her, "These are for you. God bless you, God bless you, God bless you." Protesters responded by slipping a note under the mansion's gate: "We want women's health care, not cookies." Was it a peace offering? A suggestion that the protesters looked hungry? A joke about women baking? Voodoo? Everyone's a little confused. McCrory has denied protesters' requests to meet with him about the law.
SB 353 restricts access to abortion by requiring clinics to adopt some of the same regulations that apply to ambulatory surgical centers. Critics of the law claim this will shut down most of North Carolina's 16 abortion clinics. The law also allows objecting health care providers to opt out of performing abortions, and it strips city and county employees' insurance coverage of abortion. State residents will similarly not be allowed to use state-exchange health insurance plans to pay for an abortion.
McCrory threatened not to sign an earlier version of the bill, but after some modifications were made, he did. Planned Parenthood Action Fund President said it's “appalling that Governor McCrory would go back on his campaign promise and sign into law legislation that is on the wrong side of public opinion and dangerous for women’s health.”
No word on whether any of the cookies were consumed by protesters.
Photo: Governor McCrory with cookies at a meeting of the Republican Women's Club in 2008, via AP