Conscious party: Sweet Claudette plays a pro-choice benefit

GETTING VOCAL: "We believe that the government should stay out of intimate reproductive and family planning decisions, and we are very concerned by the religious right's systematic erosion of our right to a safe and accessible abortion," says Melissa Hyman, far left, of Sweet Claudette. The band will headline a benefit for NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina.
GETTING VOCAL: "We believe that the government should stay out of intimate reproductive and family planning decisions, and we are very concerned by the religious right's systematic erosion of our right to a safe and accessible abortion," says Melissa Hyman, far left, of Sweet Claudette. The band will headline a benefit for NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina. Photo courtesy of the band

WHAT: A fundraiser for NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina

WHERE: The Mothlight

WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 5, at 7 p.m.

WHY: Pro-choice advocates celebrated a win when, on June 30, the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt set a precedent that could be used to limit abortion laws in multiple states.

But in considering North Carolina’s 2017 legislative session, activist Tara Romano says: “We still anticipate there will be folks who will be putting through legislation that’s going to attempt to restrict access to abortion and birth control further. So, that’s one of the things we’re gearing up for.”

Romano is the executive director for NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, a nonprofit that focuses on advocacy and education as opposed to providing specific services for constituents. “We advocate for access to the full range of reproductive health options,” she says, including birth control, abortions and affordable child care.

A statewide organization, NARAL is based in the Triangle, which allows for easy access to lawmakers when they’re in session. “But we are also wanting to engage with folks in different parts of the state,” Romano adds, and that prompted a benefit concert in Asheville.

Sweet Claudette, an all-female, all-feminist quartet, which recently celebrated the release of its first full-length album, Whiskey Drunk on Puppy Love, will headline the show.

Event attendees can browse raffle prizes from Asheville businesses — including a belt buckle with a uterus design from Steeltoe Sunshine — and gather information on activism.

“It’s right after the holidays,” Romano says, noting the slow time of year. “But we hope it will be a fun opportunity for folks to meet others that are interested in this issue, listen to some great music, start to form social networks and get excited to really stand up for reproductive freedom next year.”

Visit themothlight.com for more information. Admission is by a suggested $10 donation at the door. Proceeds benefit NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina.

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About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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