Legislature Overrides Governor Veto

Governor Vetoes New Restrictions

(UnitedVoice.com) – At the beginning of May, North Carolina’s Republicans passed a strict new abortion bill. Unlike other states with GOP-controlled legislatures, it has a Democratic governor who opposed the legislation. After a battle between the two sides, the ban will soon become law.

On May 13, Governor Roy Cooper (D) vetoed Senate Bill 20, legislation that lowers the state’s cutoff for abortions from 20 weeks to 12. It also requires women seeking the procedure to meet with a doctor in-person at least 72 hours before undergoing the procedure. The bill includes exceptions for some fetal abnormalities, the life of the mother, incest, and rape. Women who want to have a medication-induced abortion will need to see a physician to verify the fetus’ gestational age is less than 10 weeks.

Cooper issued a statement after the veto calling the bill a “dangerous interference with the doctor-patient relationship” that could cause harm to women and their families. He claimed the legislation would make the procedure “unavailable to many women” and pointed out that those with low incomes and those living in rural areas would suffer especially.

Days later, on May 16, Republicans voted to override the governor’s veto. The GOP holds exactly a three-fifths supermajority in each chamber, allowing them to pass their override on a razor-thin margin.

The measure to override the governor’s veto was possible in the House because Rep. Tricia Cotham (R) changed her party affiliation from Democrat to Republican, giving the GOP the supermajority. Cooper slammed the measure, accusing Conservatives of breaking “their promises to protect women’s reproductive freedom.”

After the legislature passed the override, four Republican female senators in the state — Lisa Barnes, Vickie Sawyer, Joyce Krawiec, and Amy Galey — issued a joint press release praising lawmakers. They said the move was a “monumental moment for women, children, and families” in the state. Further, they claimed the GOP’s ban “cherishes motherhood and saves the lives of the unborn.”

The law goes into effect on July 1.

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