North Carolina lawmakers approved a 12-week abortion ban Thursday, sending the bill to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who has vowed a veto.
The GOP-controlled state legislature voted to approve new restrictions banning most abortions at 12 weeks. The bill includes 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.
Supporters of the legislation have hailed it as “commonsense legislation”, while critics say that the 12-week ban is just the Republicans’ first step in rolling back abortion rights.
Cooper said in a video message on Twitter that he will “veto this awful bill,” noting that it includes provisions that will make it more difficult for any women to receive an abortion, such as the requirement for someone to get three in-person doctor visits before moving forward with an abortion.
“They say this is a reasonable, 12-week ban. It’s not,” he said. “The fine-print requirements and restrictions will shut down clinics and make abortion completely unavailable to many women at any time, causing desperation and death.”
He said the new restrictions and requirements leave women scrambling to find abortion care.
“New, burdensome and unnecessary requirements will cause many clinics to shut their doors,” he added. “This bill has nothing to do with making women safer and everything to do with banning abortion.”
Republicans hold a veto-proof supermajority in both chambers of the state legislature after a House Democrat switched parties and joined the GOP last month.