RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — On Thursday, N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein received an endorsement in his run for governor in a key area voters are paying attention to: abortion.

Reproductive Freedom for All, a national lobbying group that’s advocated for pro-choice and reproductive freedoms since 1969, announced its endorsement of Stein for Governor in North Carolina.

The announcement is the group’s first gubernatorial endorsement of the 2024 election cycle in the U.S. The organization said Stein’s endorsement comes after Politico dubbed North Carolina “the most important governor race of 2024.”

“From his time in the state senate to serving as Attorney General, Josh Stein has fought against anti-abortion extremists every step of the way,” said Reproductive Freedom for All president and CEO Mini Timmaraju. “North Carolina needs a governor who will defend their freedoms, and that’s exactly who he’ll be. This race is critical for abortion access in the South, and we’re proud to endorse Josh Stein as our first gubernatorial endorsement of the 2024 cycle.”

Attorney General Stein has been outspoken in supporting access to abortion and joined an amicus brief to defend the legality of medication abortion. Stein has also sued to defend public health providers that offer abortion care, like Planned Parenthood, from attempts to cut off their access to public health grants.

As part of the Thursday endorsement announcement, Stein said, “Reproductive freedom is on the line in North Carolina as far-right politicians seek total control over women’s rights to make decisions about their bodies, families, and futures.”

He added, “For over 50 years, Reproductive Freedom For All has been fighting to protect abortion access, and I am honored to have its endorsement in this race. As governor, I’ll always defend women’s most fundamental freedoms.”

Stein will face Justice Michael “Mike” Morgan, former Senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, in the democratic primary. Morgan stepped down from the NC Supreme Court before announcing his run for governor.