North Carolina legislature overrides governor’s veto of 12-week abortion bill

UPDATE, May 16, 2023: The North Carolina Legislature has overridden Governor Roy Cooper’s veto of Senate Bill 20. NBC News reports, “The Senate voted 30-20 along party lines, as did the House, which holds a 72-48 Republican majority.” Fox News notes, “The legislation would outlaw most abortions after the 12-week mark, with special exemptions carved out for complicated cases, such as when the life of the mother is at risk. Abortion is currently law in the state up to 20 weeks. The new law would restrict abortions in North Carolina to 12 weeks and takes effect July 1.”

NC Values Coalition executive director Tami Fitzgerald stated in an email:

With this veto override, legislators have rejected Governor Cooper’s extreme, unreasonable position of abortion without restriction up to birth. This pro-woman legislation has $160 million in funding to help pregnant mothers including $75 million for childcare, $59 million for foster care, kinship care and children’s homes, $16 million to reduce infant and maternal mortality, and $3 million to help mothers complete college. We sincerely thank Senator Berger, Speaker Moore, and Republican legislators for standing strong and voting on behalf of the 62% of North Carolinians who reject abortion after 12 weeks….

UPDATE, May 13, 2023: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the state’s Senate Bill 20, known as the Care for Women, Children, and Families Act. The bill lowers the abortion limit in the state from 20 to 12 weeks, but contains exceptions for rape and incest through 20 weeks and for a “life-threatening anomaly” through 24 weeks. It also prohibits the distribution of the abortion pill through the mail and requres two in-person doctor visits before a woman can receive an abortion.

North Carolina’s General Assembly have the ability to override his veto. Senate leader Phil Berger accused Cooper on Saturday of “feeding the public lies” and “bullying” members of his party to block the legislation. “I look forward to promptly overriding his veto,” he said in a statement.

May 5, 2023: Lawmakers in the North Carolina Senate passed a bill Thursday that would keep abortion legal through the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, just one day after the bill passed the House. Though Governor Roy Cooper has vowed to veto the bill, the GOP supermajority in the legislature has the potential to override any veto.

Cooper is currently attempting to pressure any single Republican to change his or her vote to uphold his veto, portraying the gestational limit as “dangerous.” However, most Americans want abortions limited to the first trimester of pregnancy or even further restricted.

Senate Bill 20, known as the Care for Women, Children, and Families Act does provide some protections for the preborn, as it lowers the abortion limit from 20 weeks, where it currently sits, to 12 weeks. The bill contains exceptions for rape and incest through 20 weeks and for a “life-threatening anomaly” through 24 weeks. It also establishes some parameters for the distribution of the abortion pill, requiring two in-person examinations from a doctor before a woman can receive an abortion and prohibiting the distribution of the pills through the mail.

Additionally, the bill contains a provision allowing any healthcare provider who objects to abortion “on moral, ethical, or religious grounds” from being required to assist in the procedure.

“The refusal of a physician, nurse, or health care provider to perform or participate in these medical procedures shall not be a basis for damages for the refusal or for any disciplinary or any other recriminatory action against the physician, nurse, or health care provider,” it states.

Many North Carolina Democrats are blasting the measure, calling it an “insult,” and “extreme.”

“I will veto this extreme ban and need everyone’s help to hold it,” Cooper said in a tweet.

Some pro-lifers in the state are praising the bill as a step in the right direction. “We are grateful more babies will be protected,” said Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the NC Values Coalition. She added that the bill’s passage “marks the end of North Carolina as a destination for abortion and is a historic step forward for unborn babies and their mothers.”

Despite the pro-abortion claim that the bill is “extreme,” it bill still allows the killing of preborn children in the womb through the entire first trimester. This is most commonly done through chemical abortion via the abortion pill, in which the preborn child is starved to death in his mother’s womb.

The other first-trimester abortion procedure is the suction dilation and curettage (D&C) abortion, also called vacuum aspiration. During this procedure, the child is suctioned out of her mother’s womb in pieces.


Using information from the North Carolina Division of Public Health, the Charlotte Lozier Institute reported that 88% of the state’s abortions in 2020 were committed at or before 12 weeks. These are abortions that would still be legally permissible under the passage of the new bill.

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