At least two North Carolina counties around the Charlotte, NC area have now made it a crime punishable by up to 60 days in jail to gather in churches and other settings of more than 10 people while exempting what is deemed “essential businesses.”
Abortion clinics remain open.
Reformation Charlotte recently confirmed with Charlotte’s largest abortion clinic that they are still accepting patients and making appointments. Despite the stay-at-home orders issued by both Mecklenburg County and Cabarrus County, abortion clinics are considered essential since they are considered “health care” centers, despite the fact that they only perform killing-on-demand services.
The orders issued by Mecklenburg County and Cabarrus County read nearly identical, stating “Any person violating any prohibition or restriction imposed by this proclamation as authorized by the Joint Proclamation of State of Emergency shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor in accordance with NCGS §14-288.20A,” which carries a maximum penalty of sixty days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Two of the clauses that exempt abortion clinics among other “health” facilities include,
To engage in activities or perform tasks essential to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members (including, but not limited to, pets), such as, by way of example only and without limitation, seeking emergency services, obtaining medical supplies or medication, or visiting a health care professional for medical services that cannot be provided virtually.
To perform work providing essential products and services at Essential Businesses or Operations (which, as defined below, includes Healthcare and Public Health Operations, Human Services Operations, Essential Governmental Functions, and Essential Infrastructure) or to otherwise carry out activities specifically permitted in this Executive Order, including Minimum Basic Operations.
When the government gets to decide what is “essential” and what is not, we may as well burn the constitution up and forget about it. The constitution does not allow for a mandate against religious gatherings and the governments have overstepped their boundaries by issuing such an order and classing it as a crime punishable under the state penal code. It’s one thing to strongly suggest but to order such a mandate is unconstitutional and illegal.