North Carolina is heading for a showdown over a proposed abortion ban after 12 weeks of pregnancy, with Republican lawmakers pushing for a ban and Democratic Governor Roy Cooper vetoing the bill.
On Saturday, Cooper issued a statement explaining his veto of the bill, which would create "dangerous interference with the doctor-patient relationship, leading to harm for pregnant women and their families." He argued that the bill would 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."
The bill, which passed the GOP-led state legislature, would cut the 20-week abortion ban already in place down to 12 weeks. It includes provisions for a 20-week ban in cases of rape or incest and a 24-week cap when there are life-altering fetal anomalies. It does not place any limit when it comes to protecting the life of the mother. The legislation also requires in-person doctor visits for ending a pregnancy with a pill at 10 weeks.
The veto serves as a rebuke to GOP-led efforts in states across the country to establish significant restrictions on abortion access after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer. Republican leaders in the state legislature are vowing to seek a veto override.
Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) accused Cooper of "spreading misinformation about SB 20 in an effort to frighten voters and appease campaign donors." Moore also said the bill "will save unborn lives, protect women, and support families" and vowed the governor's veto "will be swiftly overridden."
At a rally on Saturday, Cooper bet that Republican leaders will fail to muster the support needed to override his veto, as their supermajority in each chamber is slim. He encouraged those in attendance to "kick it into an even higher gear when that veto stamp comes down."
The debate over abortion access continues in North Carolina, with Republican lawmakers pushing for further restrictions and Democratic Governor Cooper vetoing their bills. It remains to be seen whether Cooper's veto will be overridden in the state legislature.