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NC Republicans Override Veto To Pass New Abortion Restrictions

Chris Agee
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North Carolina became the latest state to implement restrictions on abortion, but not without some serious pushback from its Democratic governor.

Earlier this month, GOP state lawmakers advanced a bill that would ban abortions after 12 weeks of gestation, which represents a significant change to existing law that allowed the procedure deep into the second trimester.

Certain exceptions in the legislation — such as rape, incest, and a “life-limiting anomaly” identified in the developing fetus — extend that limitation to as far as 24 weeks into the pregnancy.


When the measure landed on Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk last week, he vetoed it and issued a stern denunciation of the legislation.

“This bill will create dangerous interference with the doctor-patient relationship, leading to harm for pregnant women and their families,” he said in a message that accompanied the veto. “With its medically unnecessary obstacles and restrictions, it will make abortion unavailable to many women, particularly those with lower incomes, those who live in rural areas, and those who already have limited access to health care.”

Republicans dominate North Carolina’s legislature, however, and were able to override the governor’s actions on Tuesday. After state Rep. Tricia Cotham switched to the GOP last month, the party secured a supermajority capable of nullifying the governor’s action.

She voted alongside all other Republicans in favor of overriding the veto to pass a bill that she believes “strikes a reasonable balance.”


In addition to curtailing late-term abortions, the bill provides $160 million for support to mothers and their families as well as $75 million in child care subsidies. 

Pro-abortion protesters were on the scene to shout their disapproval of the bill, but its supporters were quick to defend the new law.

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, a Republican, issued a statement asserting that he was “glad to see Republicans in the NC House and Senate stand strong” against Cooper’s attempt to derail the legislation, concluding that the lawmakers have “taken a stand to create a culture of life in North Carolina.”

North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Michael Whatley offered similar praise for the state GOP lawmakers, applauding them “for overriding Gov. Cooper’s veto of this balanced and widely supported legislation and moving forward to protect life in North Carolina.”