Ban on abortions after 12 weeks begins in North Carolina


After Democratic Governor Roy Cooper vetoed the 12-week abortion ban, this veto was overridden by the NC Senate, making this ban a law in North Carolina. It will go into full effect on July 1. 

The law would make most abortions after 12 weeks illegal, with Republicans in the Senate and House of Representatives arguing that this will decrease the number of abortions and make the procedure safer. This would also require patients to meet with a doctor or physician 72 hours before the event occurs. 

There are exceptions to the rule to ensure the safety of patients, with cases regarding rape or incest being extended to 20 weeks. It will also make abortion legal when the pregnancy becomes dangerous for a mother during the first 24 weeks, or another type of medical injury is caused by the pregnancy. 

This law would also stop state funding to abortion providers for any purpose and requires physicians performing abortions after 16 weeks to send ultrasound records to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Physicians must be able to prove that the pregnancy was a medical emergency through evidence of medical records to perform abortions after 20 weeks. 

In an attempt to change the minds of Republicans to favor the override, Cooper held a rally to share his thoughts on why he vetoed this bill. 

This wouldn’t work in his favor, with representatives in the state of North Carolina voting against the veto, including former Democratic House member, Tricia Cothman. This gave the supermajority to the Republican party, which enabled them to override Cooper’s veto. 

The override passed with voting in the Senate 30-20 and in the House 72-48, which reached the required three-fifths vote to keep a bill from passing. 

The availability of abortions in the South and the entire United States is only getting harder to access after the overturning of the Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade in June 2022, which overturned the idea of a woman’s right to make her own decisions regarding her pregnancy. 

This has caused all states to enforce their own laws determining if a woman is allowed to have the choice of carrying a pregnancy. 

Southern states such as Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia have all made abortions restricted at all stages of pregnancy. 

States such as Florida and South Carolina have abortion restrictions ranging from 15-22 weeks of pregnancy. Although North Carolina’s laws have changed, these are the states with the most access to abortion care which has increased the number of out-of-state patients from states with stricter laws. People from neighboring states such as Tennessee and Kentucky will travel across their state lines to have access to abortion care and treatment. 

Enforced on July 1, this bill will cause women in North Carolina to have harder access to the right to choose and to have access to safe abortions in their state.