North Carolina Lawmakers Uphold Abortion Ban Over Governor’s Objections

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North Carolina’s Republican-dominated legislature upheld a bill Tuesday night to ban most abortions after 12 weeks, overriding the Democratic governor’s recent veto of the new restrictions.

The success of the override vote was a victory for Republicans and a critical test of their new, but slim, supermajority. The vote, taken in both chambers in back-to-back sessions, means a dramatic change for abortion access in North Carolina, where abortion is currently legal up to 20 weeks. The vote also restricts access for women across the South, who have traveled to North Carolina for abortions from states where the procedure was banned.

The new law is set to take effect July 1.

The vote came just days after Governor Roy Cooper vetoed the bill at a raucous rally near the legislative building in Raleigh on Saturday.

Given the Republican supermajority in both chambers of the state legislature, the override was not entirely a surprise but was also not assured. Just one vote could have tipped the outcome.

The Senate voted in favor of the override, and the House took up the bill soon after. Immediately after the House voted to approve the ban, crowds of onlookers chanted, “Shame! Shame! Shame!”

The ban, known as Senate Bill 20, would restrict most abortions in North Carolina to 12 weeks, with exceptions for rape, incest, certain fetal abnormalities and the life of the mother. The ban also mandates that detailed information about abortion procedures be reported to state health regulators.

The legislation, which was first introduced two weeks ago, sparked a political uproar in North Carolina. Polls show that most voters support the state’s current abortion access of up to 20 weeks or want to see it expanded, and a little over a third of voters want to restrict or ban access.

Source: NY Times