On Tuesday evening, Republican lawmakers in North Carolina overrode Democratic Governor Roy Cooper’s veto, enacting significant pro-life legislation. The landmark bill dubbed the Care for Women, Children and Families Act now limits abortions after 12 weeks. This moves North Carolina away from its previous policy, which allowed abortions well into the second trimester.
This victory for pro-life advocates was met with strong opposition from Gov. Cooper. He vetoed the bill on Saturday, arguing that the measure’s fine-print requirements and restrictions would shutter clinics and render abortion inaccessible for many women. However, in an impressive show of unity, the Republican-controlled General Assembly held its ground, overriding the governor’s veto in both the House and Senate.
BREAKING: The #NorthCarolina Senate just voted to override @RoyCooperNC's veto of the bill protecting unborn children at 12 weeks.
Thank you @MyNCSenate for standing strong against Gov. Cooper's bullying. North Carolina is one vote away from protecting 3,000+ lives every year!
— SBA Pro-Life America (@sbaprolife) May 16, 2023
Former Democratic state Rep. Tricia Cotham, who switched parties in April, played a vital role in this process, giving the GOP the supermajority needed to quash the veto. Cotham described the bill as striking a “reasonable balance.”
Michael Whatley, chairman of the North Carolina GOP, lauded the General Assembly’s action, stating, “The voters of North Carolina have rejected the radical abortion-on-demand position of Roy Cooper, Josh Stein, and the Democrat Party.” His sentiments were echoed by Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson, who applauded the Republicans for their stand to “create a culture of life in North Carolina.”
The Care for Women, Children and Families Act is more than an abortion ban. The new law is designed to protect and support mothers, children, and families. It safeguards abortion survivors and unborn babies from discrimination based on biological gender, race, or Down syndrome. The law also prohibits mail-order access to abortion pills, ensuring that a licensed medical practitioner administers these medications in person.
Furthermore, the legislation includes a $160 million allocation for children, families, and maternal health, $75 million of which is earmarked to expand access to childcare. This move is seen as a step toward bolstering support for families beyond the womb.
Pro-life advocacy group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America celebrated the win. President Marjorie Dannenfelser praised the General Assembly for their courage, stating that they have “stood up to the extreme abortion agenda of the Democrats to protect life and serve mothers.”
While the Republican victory was met with protest and chants of “shame” from some quarters, it is worth noting that according to a Differentiator Data poll, 62% of North Carolinians support protecting babies at 12 weeks. This figure rises to 68% among Unaffiliated voters and 61% among women.
The North Carolina GOP’s actions are a significant step towards promoting a culture of life in the state. With this comprehensive legislation, they have demonstrated a commitment to protecting unborn children and supporting mothers, families, and overall maternal health.