North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) recently vetoed legislation banning abortions in his state after 12 weeks of pregnancy.
The governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper, has vetoed a ban on abortion — setting up a showdown with the state’s Republican-led legislature, which has a slim GOP supermajority that could override him and enact the ban. https://t.co/QnzQFvuyFZ
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 13, 2023
Cooper vetoed the abortion bill in front of 1,000 abortion-rights activists and voters on a plaza in Raleigh.
The veto creates a test for leaders of the Republican-controlled General Assembly as they attempt to override Cooper’s veto after recently gaining veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate.
The bill was the Republican response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2022.
“We’re going to have to kick it into an even higher gear when that veto stamp comes down,” Cooper told the crowd. “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.”
Andrea Long, 42, is a mother of three from Cary. She said she was honored to be a part of an “electric” crowd on a “historic day for freedom” in North Carolina.
“I couldn’t stop crying tears of joy seeing the governor hold up the veto stamp, but I know it’s an uphill battle to keep this momentum going,” Long said.
To sway the public against the abortion bill, Cooper spoke to North Carolinians about the legislation’s lesser-known impacts and urged voters to pressure Republicans in the state who were hesitant about further restricting access to abortion.
Republicans have pitched their legislation as a moderate change to state abortion laws developed after months of negotiations between House and Senate leaders.
The legislation would add exceptions to the 12-week abortion ban, extending the limit to 20 weeks in cases where the woman was physically violated and through 24 weeks for “life-limiting” fetal anomalies.
State Sen. Phil Berger (R) accused Cooper of “feeding the public lies” and “bullying” Democrats to block the legislation. “I look forward to promptly overriding his veto,” he said.
Cooper has said the details contained in the bill show it is not a reasonable solution and would instead weaken women’s “reproductive rights.” He cited the requirements women will need to follow if the bill passes, such as providing paperwork to clinics proving that a patient is consenting to an abortion.
Cooper said such requirements would shut down clinics unable to afford upgrades mandated by new licensing standards in the bill while making it impossible for women who live in rural areas or work long hours to obtain abortions.