The law, called the “Care for Women, Children, and Families Act,” bans abortions after 12 weeks, with exceptions for rape or incest until 20 weeks and fetal abnormalities until 24 weeks.
“Today the North Carolina House of Representatives has affirmed the value of human life, and I am proud that the ‘Care for Women, Children, and Families Act’ is now law,” North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore said.
“I am proud that the House has overridden the Governor’s veto of this meaningful, mainstream legislation. Senate Bill 20 will save lives and provide needed support for women and families while putting North Carolina’s abortion law in line with the most of rest of the free world,” Moore added.
The override required all Republicans in the state House, including a recently defected Democrat, to vote together. Cooper had hoped to flip Republicans on the edge on the issue, arguing that it would lead “to harm for pregnant women and their families,” but was unable to do so.
Despite the pressure, the caucus voted together 72-48 to implement the abortion ban.
Republicans in the state Senate had previously voted to override Cooper’s veto, setting up a photo finish in the House. The House gallery was flooded with pro-abortion supporters who screamed “shame” at the Republicans after the vote.
— Josh Chapin (@JoshChapinABC11) May 17, 2023
“Today marks the beginning of North Carolina’s first real step towards becoming a pro-life state,” said Tami Fitzgerald, of the North Carolina Values Association. “Pro-life North Carolinians have waited over 50 years to roll back the gestational age for sanctioned killing of pre-born children. With this veto override, legislators have rejected Governor Cooper’s extreme, unreasonable position of abortion without restriction up to birth.”
The bill also provides millions of dollars in assistance to pregnant women, including $75 million for childcare and another $59 million for foster-related care.
“This bill provides resources for the pregnant woman. It provides broad resources and a significant knowledge base to enable her, to equip her in finding a path forward — a path forward for her, and a path forward for her unborn child,” said Rep. Kristin Baker.
The bill was widely condemned by North Carolina Democrats, including Attorney General Josh Stein, who is running for governor.