Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper said Sunday that abortion restrictions sent to his desk by the state legislature would effectively end abortion in North Carolina and called on pro-choice Republicans to prevent a veto override.
“We only need one Republican to keep a promise,” Cooper told CBS News in an interview. “At least four Republican legislators made promises to their constituents during this campaign that they were going to protect women’s reproductive freedom.”
The GOP-dominated legislature last week passed a bill that would put new restrictions on abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy, down from the current 20 weeks. Cooper has promised to veto the bill, calling it “an egregious, unacceptable attack on the women of our state.”
On Sunday, he said Republicans added language to the bill that will “effectively ban many abortions altogether, because of the obstacles that they have created for women, for clinics and for doctors.”
State law currently bans nearly all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Starting July 1, the restriction would be tightened to 12 weeks. It also would place limits on new exceptions, capping abortions at 20 weeks in cases of rape or incest and 24 weeks for “life-limiting” fetal anomalies, including certain physical or genetic disorders that can be diagnosed prenatally. An existing exception for when the life of the pregnant woman is in danger would remain.
The 46-page bill, revealed last week after months of private negotiations by Republican legislators, also includes more medical and paperwork requirements for both patients and physicians and licensing requirements for abortion clinics.
“They ran through a bill in 48 hours with no public input, with no amendments, that drastically reduces access to reproductive freedom for women,” Cooper told CBS.
Republican Senate President Phil Berger called the bill a “common sense, reasonable approach” to restricting second- and third-trimester abortions, according to local station WXII.
“We have the opportunity to save many lives. We have the opportunity to provide women and families options that they haven’t had before. We have the opportunity to show them that children are not burdens, they are the greatest joy of your life. And we have the opportunity to modernize our pro-life laws,” said state Sen. Joyce Krawiec, a Republican.
The governor said the proposed law would harm women both in North Carolina and from other Southern states with stricter laws who travel there seeking abortion.
“North Carolina has become an access point in the Southeast,” he said. “And what this legislation is going to do is going to prevent many women from getting abortions at any time during their pregnancy, because of the obstructions that they had put here. Many of these clinics are working very hard to treat women, and now they’re going to have many new medically unnecessary requirements that I think many of them are going to have to close.”
While Cooper has promised to veto the bill, Republicans hold super-majorities in both the General Assembly and state Senate and have enough votes to override his veto, at least on paper. The governor said he will travel across the state and visit districts belonging to four Republicans who had made campaign promises to preserve abortion access. He is hoping the North Carolina bill will fail as abortion restrictions in South Carolina and Nebraska failed after Republican holdouts prevented those bills from passing.
“They only have a supermajority by one vote in the Senate, and one vote in the House,” Cooper said. “And we’ve seen Republicans across the country step up. We saw them step up in South Carolina, we saw them step up in Nebraska, because they know that people don’t want abortion bans.”
Source : Fox News