NC Democrats are preparing for final passage of the abortion ban that Republicans passed “in the dark of night.”
North Carolina Democrats are poised to fight a 12-week abortion ban on Tuesday — even as Republicans have made it nearly impossible.
The state of Tar Heel made national headlines this month because of a dramatic shift in events surrounding the state’s abortion laws. Although several states had enacted extreme abortion bans since the Roe vs. Wade fall, most abortion rights advocates were confident that North Carolina would keep its 20-week abortion restriction because Gov. Roy Cooper (D) has veto power over his abortions.
But after a surprise congressional change of party, Republicans now have a veto-capable supermajority — rendering Cooper’s veto on the 12-week abortion ban that the state’s GOP leaders enacted through lawmakers earlier this month useless.
Lawmakers scheduled a vote Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. EST to overrule Cooper’s recent decision Veto a 12-week abortion ban When it comes into effect, it will have devastating consequences throughout the Southeast. North Carolina is an important access point not only for the people who live there, but also for Thousands were forced They have to cross state lines to get treatment because abortion is illegal in their home state.
And the Democrats are preparing for the worst.
“The last week or so has shown how many people in North Carolina are really against it,” Rep. Julie von Haefen (D) told HuffPost. She said she hopes her Republican peers will listen to the widespread dissent against the abortion ban, but she’s not optimistic.
“Honestly, we’ve seen Republicans vote in lockstep here in our state on almost every issue like this,” von Haefen added. “Whether it’s guns, private school credit, or abortion, we don’t really see the Republican factions breaking out of their ranks, and that’s disappointing.”
Republicans drafted and unveiled the abortion ban behind closed doors earlier this month to the surprise of many voters in the state. Instead of introducing a new law, Republican lawmakers are silent hid the 46-page abortion restriction turn into an independent bill. The move allowed Republicans to bypass the committee procedure — where most public statements are heard and amendments can be added — and proceed directly to the vote less than 48 hours after the bill was introduced.
“It was always their plan to do this in the dark of night without any insight so the rest of the public doesn’t know that little girls today have fewer rights than their mothers,” Senator Sydney told Batch (D) of her Republican peers.
“They want this to be done as soon as possible,” she added. “They want to keep that override and want it to stop talking about abortion. But we will not allow it.”
If Republicans can override Cooper’s veto, the 12-week ban and associated additional restrictions around medical abortion will go into effect on July 1.
Less than 24 hours after Republicans introduced the bill, the House of Representatives voted on it. There was extremely limited time for lawmakers to read through the 46-page bill and ask pertinent questions. Even supporters of the bill have had trouble answering Democrats’ questions during the limited debate time, von Haefen said. She hopes the Republican leadership will allow debate before the override vote, given that debate was banned on the last vote Vote to repeal a gun law – that is unlikely.
cooper vetoed the 12-week abortion ban at a rally in Raleigh, North Carolina last weekend, surrounded by doctors, pro-choice advocates and other Democrats. To gain support for his veto, Cooper traveled to several swing districts in the weeks following the Republican election pushed for the ban on abortion by the legislature.
“If only a Republican follows his conscience, if only a Republican finds courage, if only a Republican listens to doctors, if only a Republican is not afraid to stand up to political bosses, if only a Republican keeps his word.” people, then we can stop this ban”, said Cooper before vetoing the bill.
Though Republicans have a veto-proof supermajority, there are four lawmakers who have considered Cooper and other Democrats as possible swing votes and who previously promised to protect abortion care. Three Republicans in the House of Representatives, Representatives John Bradford, Ted Davis Jr. and Tricia Cotham, and one in the Senate, Senator Michael V. Lee. Yes, Lee said the New York Times that a 12-week ban is consistent with his views on abortion.
Davis declined to comment on the bill, but House Speaker Tim Moore (R) called Davis votes “yes” to override. When Davis ran for re-election last year promised to support the state’s existing 20-week restriction.
Batch said she knows several Republicans who personally don’t support the 12-week abortion ban but would vote partisanly anyway.
That leaves Bradford and Cotham. Bradford, who has yet to comment on the ban, said last year that he had no intention of restricting abortion beyond the current 20-week limit.
Cotham is the controversial and central figure in creating the 12-week abortion ban. She changed parties Earlier this year, he gave the Republicans their crucial, veto-proof supermajority. The former Democrat was once an outspoken advocate for abortion rights tells her own abortion story on the House floor in an impassioned plea against abortion restrictions in 2015. Earlier this year she was co-sponsor of a bill in response to the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade last summer to codify abortion protections.
“That you could do a 180-degree situation and just disregard your own history and your own values the way she did — I can’t explain it, and I don’t know how anyone could do that.” , said von Haefen.
Cotham said she switched parties because the Democratic Party has changed since it first joined over five years ago and its Democratic counterparts are in control. However, Batch posits that Cotham’s election was understood to mean that there were Republican lobbyists helping her raise a significant amount of money in her 2022 primary race.
“It’s a betrayal of every single person in their district. That not only would she change parties, but she would absolutely violate and break every promise she made to her constituents,” Batch said. “It was a lure and it should always be a lure.”
Democrats will do their best to convince their Republican counterparts to uphold Cooper’s veto, but whatever happens, they won’t go down without a fight.
“The people of North Carolina deserve to know there are representatives fighting for them. We could get rolled over, but we’re going to be very vocal about it – if we lose, we’re going to lose loudly,” said Batch. “It’s the least we can do to show everyone in North Carolina what’s actually happening in Raleigh.”