NC governor vetoes abortion restrictions

North Carolina’s Democratic governor vetoed a bill on Saturday that would ban most abortions in the state after 12 weeks, a move that now faces an override from Republicans in the state legislature.

Gov. Roy Cooper (D-N.C.) vetoed the bill in front of a crowd of supporters in Raleigh, blocking the measure that passed the state legislature along party lines last week. Cooper called on the crowd to pressure Republicans in the statehouse to let his veto stand.

“We’re going to have to kick it into an even higher gear when that veto stamp comes down,” Cooper said. “If 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.”

State law in North Carolina currently bans most abortions after 20 weeks, with the Republican-led 12-week restriction coming after the fall of Roe v. Wade last year. Now, GOP lawmakers in the state House and the Senate, where they have majorities, may vote as early as this week to override Cooper’s veto. The override would take a three-fifths majority in each chamber.

While the bill bans most abortions after 12 weeks, it includes exceptions. In the case of rape or incest, the window is moved to 20 weeks. The restriction is also extended to 24 weeks for “life-limiting” fetal anomalies.

The showdown in North Carolina between Cooper and state Republicans comes as a slate of Republican-led states have enacted laws to strictly limit abortion access. There are at least 19 states where there are either full or partial bans on abortion in the U.S., according to a New York Times tracker

The bans include a number of states surrounding North Carolina in the U.S. South, making North Carolina a destination for many seeking abortion care in the region. States like Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee have full bans on abortions.

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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