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Tonight: UNC-Chapel Hill panel discussion on “Faith and Abortion”


Tonight: UNC-Chapel Hill panel discussion on “Faith and Abortion”

Mar 22, 2023 | 9:30 am ET
By Joe Killian
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On Wednesday evening UNC-Chapel Hill’s Program for Public Discourse will hold a panel discussion on Faith and Abortion as the last event in its Abbey Speaker Series this academic year.

The discussion comes as the Republican majority in the North Carolina General Assembly pursues new restrictions on abortion, part of a wave of such legislation following the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Last month a Meredith College poll found more than half of respondents wanted to keep the state’s current law allowing for abortion access up to 20 weeks or to expand the period in which women can access abortion. Over a third wanted to restrict access to abortion further or ban access entirely. About 31 percent said they would like to keep the law as it is.

Tonight: UNC-Chapel Hill panel discussion on “Faith and Abortion”
From left to right: Professor Mara Buchbinder, Leah Libresco Sargeant, Maharat Ruth Friedman, Lauren W. Reliford.

That division is deeply partisan, the polling found – three quarters of Democrats polled wanted to keep the current law or expand access while nearly 60 percent of Republicans wanted further restrictions or an outright ban. Among unaffiliated voters, nearly 60 percent said they would prefer keeping the 20 week ban or expanding access.

Wednesday’s panel discussion will be moderated by Mara Buchbinder, a professor and vice chair of the department of social medicine at the UNC School of Medicine. Panelists include Maharat Ruth Friedman, clergy at Ohev Sholom – the National Synagogue in Washington DC; Lauren W. Reliford, a social worker and Political Director for Christian organization Sojourners and Leah Libresco Sargeant, writer and author of the book Arriving at Amen, which examined her conversion from atheism to Catholicism.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. FedEx Global Education Center, Nelson Mandela Auditorium and will also be streamed online. Registration here.