Republican legislative leaders in North Carolina said on Tuesday that there is consensus within the GOP-controlled legislature to support a bill that would outlaw abortion in almost all circumstances beyond the initial trimester of pregnancy.
There is unanimity among Republicans in the state House and Senate, according to Speaker of the House Tim Moore and Senate President Phil Berger, who spoke during an early-evening news conference.
Almost all abortions are currently prohibited by North Carolina law beyond 20 weeks of conception. Considering new exclusions in instances involving rape, incest, or foetal abnormalities, the legislation would cut it to 12 weeks. There would still be an exception for situations where the pregnant woman’s life is in jeopardy.
Final Vote on Abortion Bill
Legislators said that final votes on the agreed-upon measure would take place on Thursday. The finished bill would be presented to Democratic Governor Roy Cooper, an ardent advocate of abortion rights. He stated in December that he would deem a ban on abortions performed at twenty weeks or fewer to be harsh.
After former Democratic Rep. Tricia Cotham of Mecklenburg County turned to the GOP last month, Republicans now have veto-proof majorities in the House and the Senate. Cotham has refrained from openly declaring whether or not she would be inclined to support new limitations. Republicans will likely need some House Democrats to abstain or vote for an override in order to override a Cooper veto if she decides not to support the package.
Provisions of the Abortion Bill
The bill includes provisions to facilitate adoptions and increase children’s and pregnant women’s access to health care.
Sen. Joyce Krawiec, a Republican from Forsyth County and one of the agreement’s negotiators, described the legislation as “a thorough strategy to support women, children, and their families.” Without a doubt, it will save lives and enhance the health of many pregnant women.
Legislators claim that the measure will put restrictions on a few exceptions limiting abortions at 24 weeks for “life-limiting” foetal defects, such as some physical or genetic problems that can be detected during pregnancy, and at 20 weeks for instances involving rape or incest. If doctors violate some of the measure’s restrictions, they could be fined.
Additionally, the Republican leadership touted the bill with a $160 million allocation for maternal health care, parental leave at no charge for teachers, and child care access. Funding in the millions of dollars is included in the measure for foster care parents and care takers pursuing community college degrees.
Moreover, it allocates more money for nonprofit crisis pregnancy centers, which are frequently affiliated with a particular religion and counsel those in opposition to getting termination of pregnancy as part of their gratuitous but constrained services.
Abortion Bill seeks to overturn decision of Roe vs Wade
Republicans in the House and Senate have been attempting for months to come to an agreement on how to proceed after last year’s Roe v. Wade decision by the US Supreme Court. Abortions were legal in North Carolina at the time of the decision in June of last year up to foetal viability, which typically occurs anywhere from 24 to 28 weeks after becoming pregnant, except in rare medical situations. As a result, people travelling from other Southern states where abortion was already prohibited could now seek abortions in North Carolina.
Data from the state’s Department of Health and Human Services show that, in 2020, at least 88% of abortions involving North Carolina citizens took place at or before 12 weeks of gestation. Right after the Supreme Court’s decision, a federal judge reestablished the loosely enforced 20-week ban in August.