North Carolina Republicans unveiled a new proposal Tuesday evening that would ban abortion in the state after 12 weeks of pregnancy.
State Senate leader Phil Berger (R) announced in a statement Tuesday that House and Senate Republicans in the state legislature have come to agreement on restrictions that would ban most abortions at 12 weeks.
The bill would allow exceptions for rape and incest through 20 weeks and would allow exceptions for fetal life-limiting anomalies through 24 weeks. There would also be an exception to save the life of the mother, according to the bill.
The bill also includes criminal provisions in connection to abortion and childcare, including making a $250,000 fine for physicians who do not care for a child if they are born alive after a an attempted abortion procedure. Those who illegally provide abortion drugs to women or who advertise abortion medication to women will also be fined $5,000, according to the bill.
“The ‘Care for Women, Children, and Families Act’ is reasonable, commonsense legislation that will protect more lives than at any point in the last 50 years,” state Sen. Joyce Krawiec (R) said in a statement. “We are beginning the process of creating a culture that values life, and that’s something we can all be incredibly proud of.”
Democrats and advocacy groups have blasted the state Republicans proposal, calling it overly restrictive. North Carolina Gov. Ray Cooper (D) said he opposed the bill, describing it as an “overreach” into people’s lives.
“This proposal erodes even further the freedom of women and their doctors to make deeply personal health care decisions. I along with most North Carolinians are alarmed by the overreach of Republican politicians into people’s personal lives and I strongly oppose it,” he said in a statement.
Other groups have also signaled their opposition the bill, with the ACLU of North Carolina saying, “Any ban on abortion is unacceptable,” in a statement. The group also noted that an abortion ban is “deeply unpopular” in North Carolina.
“Don’t be fooled. This bill is neither moderate nor a compromise. The majority of North Carolinians do not support further restrictions on abortion access,” North Carolina ACLU Senior Policy Counsel Liz Barber said. “Lawmakers are ignoring the democratic process in order to push through unpopular legislation against the will of the people.”