North Carolina Republicans Override Governor's Abortion Ban Veto

Most abortions will be banned after the 12-week mark in North Carolina
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 13, 2023 11:30 AM CDT
Updated May 16, 2023 8:36 PM CDT
North Carolina Governor Vetoes 12-Week Abortion Bill
Hundreds of abortion-rights supporters rally outside the North Carolina Legislative Building in Raleigh on Saturday.   (AP Photo/Hannah Schoenbaum)
UPDATE May 16, 2023 8:36 PM CDT

Legislation banning most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy will become law in North Carolina after the state’s Republican-controlled General Assembly successfully overrode the Democratic governor’s veto late Tuesday, the AP reports. The House completed the second and final part of the override vote Tuesday night after a similar three-fifths majority voted for the override earlier Tuesday in the Senate. The outcome represents a major victory for Republican legislative leaders who needed every GOP member on board to enact the law over Gov. Roy Cooper’s opposition.

May 13, 2023 11:30 AM CDT

North Carolina's Democratic governor has vetoed legislation that would have banned nearly all abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy. The veto came Saturday during a public rally. Hundreds of abortion-rights activists and voters watched on a plaza in Raleigh between the governor’s office and the Legislative Building as Gov. Roy Cooper affixed his veto stamp to the bill, which also would place additional restrictions on physicians, abortion clinics, and the women seeking the procedure, the AP reports. The legislation would "turn the clock back 50 years on women's health," Cooper said.

The veto launches a test for Republican legislative leaders to attempt to override Cooper's veto after recently gaining veto-proof majorities in both chambers. Cooper, a strong abortion-rights supporter, had until Sunday night to act on the measure that would tighten current state law that bans most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The measure would require that patients "navigate a wicked obstacle course just to get care," Cooper said, per Politico. "This bill has nothing to do with making women safer and everything to do with banning abortion," he added. The governor has been lobbying GOP lawmakers to not vote to override. "If even just one Republican in either the House or the Senate keeps a campaign promise to protect women's reproductive health, we can stop this ban," he said.

(More anti-abortion laws stories.)

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