(RALEIGH, N.C.) — The North Carolina Legislature voted Tuesday night to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of a 12-week abortion ban.
Republican lawmakers passed the bill along party lines last week, which reduced the state’s ban on abortion from 20 weeks to the end of the first trimester, but it was quickly blocked by the Democratic governor.
However, Republicans hold a super majority in both the Senate and the House after Rep. Tricia Cotham switched from the Democratic party to the GOP in April and were able to nullify Cooper’s veto.
The bill, known as “The Care for Women, Children and Families Act,” offers exceptions in cases of rape and incest up to 20 weeks’ gestation and for fetal anomalies up to 24 weeks’ gestation.
The current exception that allows an abortion if the life of the mother is in danger will remain in place.
Before an abortion is performed, pregnant people must receive a consultation in-person at least 72 hours prior to the procedure about the potential risks of receiving an abortion and other options, including adoption or that the father is liable to pay child support.
Research has shown that abortions performed in a clean area with properly trained staff are very safe. Between 2013 and 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the national case-fatality rate was 0.41 abortion-related deaths per 100,000 legal abortions.
The pregnant person must also receive an ultrasound prior to the abortion as well as a notice that they can look at “the remains” after the procedure is completed.
Providers who perform an abortion past 12 weeks will be required to provide information to the state Department of Health and Human Services, including “the probable gestational age” of the fetus, its measurements and an ultrasound image as well as how the provider determined the pregnancy fell into one of the exceptions.
Any physician who violates the bill will be subject to discipline from the North Carolina Medical Board, which includes potentially being placed on probation, public reprimanding, paying a fine, educational training or having their license revoked.
Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade over the summer, 15 states have ceased nearly all abortion services.
Florida will be the 16th state once a new six-week abortion ban is implemented — but only if the state’s current 15-week ban is upheld as legal challenges play out in court.
Additionally, Utah passed a bill earlier this year banning abortion clinics in the state. Starting May 3, the state’s health department would not be allowed to grant new licenses, but it was blocked by a state judge Tuesday.
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