© Reuters. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper will veto SB20 legislation restricting most abortions to early pregnancy on May 13, 2023 in Raleigh, North Carolina, United States, removing the state’s current 20-week gestational limit. be lowered significantly.Reuters/Jonathan
by Julia Hart
Reuters – North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper on Saturday vetoed a bill banning most abortions after 12 weeks, but the move was quickly overturned by a Republican majority in the state legislature. It is expected that the bill will be passed.
The measure would reduce the duration of most abortions in the state from 20 weeks, limiting the opportunities for millions of women in the southern United States to have an abortion.
At a rally in Raleigh, the state capital, Mr Cooper signed a document vetoing the bill as a crowd chanted “veto”.
“This bill has nothing to do with keeping women safe, it’s all about banning abortion,” Cooper said, calling on Republicans to reconsider their position.
“If only one Republican was brave enough, if only one Republican listened to doctors, if only one Republican was not afraid to stand up to political bosses, if only one Republican was willing to serve the people.” We can stop this ban if we keep our promises to.” he added.
Republicans have overwhelming majority in both Congresses. Cooper spent a week traveling the state to raise his awareness of the bill’s impact, urging Republican lawmakers to approve his own veto.
Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the North Carolina Values Coalition, an anti-abortion group, criticized Cooper for vetoing the bill and holding a rally the day before Mother’s Day.
“Mr Cooper’s actions will give women more opportunities to choose their lives, improve safety standards in clinics, and undermine provisions designed to stop the barbaric and painful practice of partial abortion. “Cooper is trying to convince Republican lawmakers to keep their veto powers,” he said in a statement. It was a “stupid business”.
The bill passed Congress in less than 48 hours in early May, but drew criticism from Democrats and abortion rights advocates, calling for the longer period of analysis and debate inherent in such legislation.
The bill would ban elective abortion after the first trimester except in cases of rape, incest, life-threatening fetal abnormalities, and medical emergencies.
A doctor will also be required to be present when abortion drugs are administered, and those wishing to have a medical abortion will be required to meet in person with a doctor 72 hours before the procedure. That would make it more difficult for out-of-state abortion seekers to obtain abortion services in North Carolina.
Republicans called the bill a “common sense bill” that offered a compromise that fell short of the more restrictive bans opposed by the majority of American voters. Democratic opponents called it “devastatingly cruel” and claimed it would force women to have illegal abortions.
The bill includes not only paid parental leave, but also funding for foster parents and childcare.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court stripped federal abortion rights in June 2022, near-total abortion bans have come into effect in 14 states, according to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights advocacy group.
A study by the Family Planning Association, a nonprofit that promotes abortion rights and research, found that North Carolina’s abortions increased 37 percent in the first two months after the ruling, more than any other state.
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