North Carolina legislature overrides governor's veto on 12-week abortion ban

 May 17, 2023

North Carolina used its Republican legislative supermajority on Tuesday to override Democrat Governor Roy Cooper's veto of a 12-week election ban, making the bill into law without his signature.

Republicans saw the ban as a compromise that would end the state's reputation as a the "abortion destination" in the South, because most other southern states have six-week or even stricter bans since Roe V. Wade was overturned.

Both the state House and Senate have one-person supermajorities since state Rep. Tricia Cotham switched parties to Republican last month.

The Senate overturned the bill first with a vote of 30-20, and the House followed up with a 72-48 party-line vote.

"Monumental moment"

"This is a monumental moment for women, children, and families in North Carolina. Our bill puts to rest all of the noise and lies we've been hearing this past week, and brings to life a culture that cherishes motherhood and saves the lives of the unborn," four female Republican senators said after their vote.

In the House, there was some chaos after the vote, with some shouting "shame" when the vote was complete.

The law banning abortions at 12 weeks will take effect immediately.

Prior to the vote, Cooper talked to Republicans he thought he might get to vote his way, but there were no defections.

Planned Parenthood and the Democratic Socialists of America put pressure on Republicans as well, holding rallies and meetings, but their efforts did not work.

"Major step"

Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America and North Carolina Values Coalition also ran ads in the state, and celebrated after the veto was overridden.

"The battleground state of North Carolina has taken a major step forward in the fight for life," SBA President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a press release. "By defying Gov. Cooper’s bully tactics and standing for the will of the people, the General Assembly modeled great courage on the issue of life. Elected officials and candidates across this country should take note how pro-life leaders stood up to the extreme abortion agenda of the Democrats to protect life and serve mothers."

The bill does include exceptions for rape or incest and a “life-limiting anomaly” in the fetus, which is more than many other state laws have.

Some conservatives are against exceptions, arguing that it isn't the baby's fault if his or her mother was raped or incest was involved.

But it is also very difficult to argue that a traumatized and abused woman should be forced to carry a pregnancy to term and take on the responsibility of a parent for a child conceived in this way.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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