RALEIGH, NC — The Democratic governor of North Carolina has vetoed legislation that would have banned nearly all abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy. The veto occurred on Saturday during a public rally.
Hundreds of abortion rights activists and voters watched in a Raleigh plaza between the Governor’s office and the Legislative Building as Gov. Roy Cooper placed his veto stamp on the bill, which also places additional restrictions on abortion rights. doctors, abortion clinics and women seeking the procedure.
The veto launches a major test for leaders of the GOP-controlled General Assembly to try to override Cooper’s veto after recently winning veto-proof majorities in both chambers. The bill was the Republican response to last year’s US Supreme Court decision that struck down Roe v. Wade.
Cooper, a strong supporter of abortion rights, had until Sunday night to act on the measure that would toughen current state law that bans most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Party-line votes for passage last week in the House and Senate signaled that Cooper’s veto could block the bill from enactment if only one Republican who voted for it changes his mind or is absent during an override vote. .
So the governor spent this week on the road talking about the lesser-known details of the bill and urging residents to put pressure on key Republican lawmakers who expressed doubts about new restrictions during their campaigns for office last year.
Republicans have billed the measure as an interim change to state abortion laws developed after months of private negotiations between Republican members of the House and Senate. It adds exceptions to the 12-week ban, extending the limit to 20 weeks for rape and incest and to 24 weeks for «life-limiting» fetal anomalies.
But Cooper has repeatedly said that the details contained in the 47-page bill show the move is not a reasonable compromise and would instead greatly erode reproductive rights.