North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) has pledged to veto an abortion bill passed by state Republican lawmakers, but if the Republican legislators work together, they could override Cooper’s veto.
According to CNN, the legislation cleared the state House and Senate on party lines less than 48 hours after being introduced. Republicans supported the bill, while Democrats opposed it.
The measure would prohibit abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy but would allow several exceptions. Abortions would be allowed through 20 weeks for pregnancies produced by violations or incest and during the first 24 weeks if the baby has a “life-limiting anomaly.” Exceptions would also exist in the event of medical emergencies.
The bill would also ban abortions that occur because of a baby’s race or if they have Down syndrome. In a video, Cooper claimed that the legislation’s “fine-print requirements” and “restrictions will shut down clinics and make abortion completely unavailable to many women at any time, causing desperation and death.” He described it as an “awful bill.”
This bill has nothing to do with making women safer, and everything to do with banning their reproductive freedom. pic.twitter.com/nfBagT3ijz
— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) May 4, 2023
“A number of them promised their constituents that they would protect women’s reproductive rights,” Cooper told CNN host Wolf Blitzer. “We want to hold them to these promises.”
“This is the kind of thing that happens when you let right-wing politicians into the exam room with women and their doctors,” he said, adding that “we’re going to work the next few days to make sure that we have a Republican that will stand up and vote.”
Cooper, who entered office in 2017, was re-elected in 2020 during North Carolina’s gubernatorial election.
Under current North Carolina law, abortions are legal until 20 weeks of pregnancy. If the abortion bill passes, women can legally have an abortion through 12 weeks of pregnancy. The measure would also prevent pro-life healthcare providers from participating in medical procedures resulting in abortions.
“By 12 weeks’ gestation, all major organs have formed and the heart has beat over 10 million times. At this stage, babies suck their thumbs and already have a right-hand or left-hand preference,” Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, an anti-abortion organization, stated.
“Prominent facial features including the nose, cheeks, eyes, and ears are recognizable; teeth are developing; and the body responds to touch,” the organization added.