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North Carolina legislature passes 12-week abortion ban

The bill passed along party lines, and Republicans may have the votes to override any veto from North Carolina's Democratic Governor.
North Carolina legislature passes 12-week abortion ban
Posted at 11:29 PM, May 04, 2023

The North Carolina legislature has approved a ban on most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy, setting up a veto showdown with the state's Democratic governor and threatening the state's status as a haven for those seeking abortions.

The legislature's bill shortens the window for obtaining legal abortions from 20 weeks' pregnancy to 12 week's pregnancy.

It puts new restrictions on exceptions: abortions in cases of rape or incest would be legal until 20 weeks, and abortions in case of "life-limiting" fetal anomalies would be legal until 24 weeks.

SEE MORE: North Dakota passes law banning nearly all abortions

The existing 20-week limit is less strict than legal limits in some surrounding states, including Georgia and Tennessee. Changes to North Carolina's laws, then, could affect people seeking abortions in a wider region, who may have traveled to North Carolina for care.

Certain passages in the bill also increase the requirements for an abortion procedure. Current law requires a three-day waiting period before getting an abortion, which can be arranged over the phone. The new bill would require someone seeking an abortion to make an in-person visit with their doctor, and require them to make a follow-up visit after a medically-induced abortion.

The Senate's 29-20 vote, which came along party lines, follows a House vote that took place on Wednesday.

The bill now goes to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who has said he will veto it. However, there are enough Republican seats in the legislature to override a veto.

SEE MORE: Judge temporarily blocks hospital-only abortion law in Utah


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