RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina lawmakers on Thursday approved a ban on nearly all abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy, down from the current 20 weeks, in response to last year’s overturning of Roe v. Wade at the U.S. Supreme Court.
The 29-20 vote by the Senate was met with loud cries of “Abortion rights now!” from about 100 observers who had crowded into the gallery to watch the debate. Police quickly cleared the area, but protesters could still be heard yelling “Shame!” from outside the closed doors.
State law currently bans almost all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Starting July 1, the ban would be reduced to 12 weeks. It also places limits on new exceptions, capping abortions at 20 weeks in cases of rape or incest and 24 weeks for “life-limiting” fetal anomalies, including certain physical or genetic disorders that can be diagnosed prenatally. An existing exception for when the life of the pregnant woman is in danger would remain.
The legislation now goes to Governor Roy Cooper, who has vowed to veto “this extreme ban”.
The Associated Press, NBC News