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Thursday, May 30, 2024

General Assembly to vote Tuesday on override of governor’s abortion bill veto

Gov. Cooper in New Hanover County last week during a roundtable about SB 20, to further restrict abortions in North Carolina. (Port City Daily/Amy Passaretti Willis)

An abortion omnibus bill put forth almost two weeks ago, which passed in 48 hours to restrict abortion access in North Carolina, is expected to face another round of voting Tuesday.

Senate Bill 20 was vetoed by Governor Roy Cooper Saturday and both chambers in the North Carolina General Assembly are expected to vote to override it May 16. The Senate announced it would take up the bill again Tuesday; if it passes, it moves to the House.

READ MORE: ‘There is still time’: Gov. Cooper talks abortion ban with local healthcare advocates prior to veto

ALSO: General Assembly passes 12-week abortion ban, local Republicans silent on vote

The Speaker of the House’s chief of staff, Neal Inman, took to Twitter stating the House will vote Tuesday evening, but every Republican member will have to be present and vote in favor for it to pass.

Locally, Charles Miller (R-New Hanover, Brunswick), Frank Iler (R-Brunswick), and Carson Smith (R-Pender) voted for the bill during its initial passing, along with Sens. Michael Lee (R-New Hanover), Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick), and Brent Jackson (R-Pender, Bladen, Duplin, Sampson, Jones). 

Ted Davis (R-New Hanover) was absent for the vote. When asked how his decision would land per an override, Davis told Port City Daily: “At this time, I do not have any comment.”

Cooper spent last week traversing the state and hosting roundtables with medical professionals and abortion rights advocates to educate the public on the inner workings of the bill. He stopped in New Hanover County on May 10 to urge Lee and Davis to vote against the override.

SB 20 lessens the time in which a woman can seek an abortion from 20 to 12 weeks, except in the case of rape or incest; access remains for life-threatening pregnancies during the entire duration.

The bill includes other measures, many of which abortion advocates say present barriers to reproductive health. It allows medical professionals to opt out of procedures that go against moral and religious beliefs; maintains an abortion must be conducted in a hospital and not a clinic or ambulatory surgical facility; requires women to attend three in-person appointments; restricts medication abortions; and will include a medical care commission to rewrite regulations for clinics.

The bill also includes $180 million in state and federal funds to go toward services like child care and foster care. 

  • $3.5 million in grants for local health departments and nonprofit community health centers for contraceptive care 
  • $2.8 million (with a federal match) for Medicare and Medicaid coverage of prenatal care
  • $75 million in state funds to expand access to child care 
  • Nearly $59 million in state funds (plus additional federal matching funds) for foster care, kinship care and children’s homes
  • $20 million in state funds for up to eight weeks of maternity and paternity leave for teachers and state employees 
  • More than $16 million in state and federal matching funds to address infant and maternal mortality

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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