On Thursday, the North Carolina legislature approved a bill that would ban abortions after 12 weeks, a move expected to be vetoed by the state’s Democratic governor.
However, given the GOP’s seat margins and chamber leaders, it appears likely that the veto will be overridden.
According to NBC News, this new law represents a shift from the previous 20-week restriction on abortions in the state. While it may not be as severe as some other laws passed since the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the implications of the bill could still be significant.
North Carolina has been a destination for many women seeking later-stage abortions from neighboring states with stricter laws.
On Thursday, the bill was passed in the Senate with a vote of 29-20, and during the session, a large crowd in the gallery opposed the bill and shouted “Abortion rights now!” The protesters were quickly removed by the police, but their voices could still be heard from outside the doors as they shouted “Shame!” at the lawmakers.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has condemned the bill in the past, calling it “an egregious, unacceptable attack on the women of our state.”
Despite several failed attempts by Democrats in the state House and Senate to block the measure through parliamentary maneuvers, the GOP’s margins in both chambers were too great, resulting in the passage of the bill. The new rule is scheduled to take effect on July 1 and would impose additional restrictions on certain exceptions. Abortions in cases of rape or incest would be limited to 20 weeks.
However, the bill would allow for “life-limiting” fetal anomalies, including genetic disorders that can be diagnosed prenatally, until the 24th week of pregnancy. Additionally, existing exceptions for situations where the life of the pregnant woman is in danger would remain in place.
Senator Joyce Krawiec, a Republican from Forsyth County who supported the bill, stated that those who have been fighting for decades to protect the lives of unborn babies view the bill as “very pro-life, pro-woman legislation.”
“This is a pro-life plan, not an abortion ban,” Krawiec added.
However, Democratic Sen. Sydney Batch thought otherwise.
“This bill is an extreme and oppressive step backwards for our society and one that will deny women the right to make decisions about their own health care and future,” she said during the debate.