Why a self-described ‘unwavering advocate of abortion rights’ voted for an extreme abortion ban

By | May 13, 2023

Jezebel reports:

Imagine campaigning for a Democratic politician—a thankless, low-paying job, especially at the state level—because you believe in what they stand for. The candidate gives powerful speeches about abortion rights that make you proud. You’re in a purple state, where every single seat in the legislature is critical to protecting abortion access. So you join the fight, help them win, and continue working for them in the legislature. Then inexplicably, in the middle of their term, that politician does an about-face, switches parties, and votes in favor of an extreme abortion ban, delivering Republicans the one vote they needed to override a veto and actually shutter clinics in the state.

Two (now former) aides to North Carolina State Rep. Tricia Cotham found themselves in that position earlier this month. Cotham, a Democrat until recently who was endorsed by EMILY’s List, had given speeches for years about abortion rights, sworn over and over to defend them, and even talked about her own medically necessary abortion. “My womb and my uterus is not up for your political grab,” she said in one particularly passionate 2015 speech.

Then this month, in a stunning move that drew national headlines, Cotham decided to switch parties and vote in favor of a bill that would ban abortion after 12 weeks and could close clinics. Her defection gave North Carolina’s Republican Party the supermajority they need to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s (D) veto and jam the bill into law, which will further decimate abortion access throughout the South.

The people who helped elect Cotham and worked for her are, understandably, feeling devastated, betrayed, and confused. [Continue reading…]