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State legislators override governor’s veto of new protections for unborn

Young People at March for Life


John Burger - published on 05/17/23

North Carolina latest to revise abortion law in wake of last year's overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Among the Republicans who voted to override North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of a more restrictive abortion law was a former Democrat who previously voted to protect “abortion rights.”

State Rep. Tricia Cotham of Mecklenburg said that the new law, which prohibits most abortions after 12 weeks gestation, strikes a “reasonable balance on the abortion issue and represents a middle ground that anyone not holding one of the two extremist positions can support.”

Cotham’s switch from Democrat to Republican last month gave the state’s GOP the supermajority it needed in the legislature to override Gov. Cooper’s veto. Those votes took place Tuesday night – first the State Senate, then the House. 

The new law, most of which takes effect July 1, provides 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 and institutes longer waiting periods and more in-person medical visits to obtain an abortion,” the New York Times reported.

The newspaper said the bill is “less restrictive than other state laws that prohibit the procedure beginning at conception or after six weeks of pregnancy. Republicans said the bill was a compromise that would protect innocent life and support women, but abortion-rights activists said it would prevent women across the South from gaining access to abortion and would put lives at risk.”

Previously, the Tar Heel State allowed abortions up to 20 weeks. 


Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, said in a statement that the override represents a “major step forward in the fight for life.”

“We thank legislators for making this a historic day in North Carolina,” Dannenfelser said. “Today, the General Assembly has shown courage in compassionately protecting life and serving mothers.”

In a joint statement on Monday, Bishops Luis R. Zarama of Raleigh and Peter J. Jugis of Charlotte said, “We welcome the increased protections for unborn human lives offered by the Care For Women, Children, and Families Act (SB 20)” and “the millions of dollars of funding to support mothers and families included in this bill.”

“Together these provisions represent progress toward building a culture of life in North Carolina,” Bishops Zarama and Jugis said. “In every human life – from the moment of conception until natural death – the Church sees the image of God and the inviolable dignity of the human person. This is why the Church always stands for life and calls on everyone to defend life. The Church is deeply committed through her social and pastoral outreach to caring for mothers and families at every stage of life.”

“While this bill is not perfect, we hope it will become law to advance protection for unborn children and support for mothers in need,” the bishops said.

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