North Carolina Passes Important Rules Vote That Could Pave the Way to Banning Abortions

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 17, 2023   |   11:39AM   |   Charlotte, North Carolina

The North Carolina Legislature is within one vote of passing pro-life bills this spring to protect unborn babies from abortions.

And on Wednesday, the state House approved procedural rules that could give a state-wide abortion ban a better chance of becoming law, according to the Raleigh News and Observer.

Voters elected a Republican supermajority to the state Senate and near-supermajority to the state House in November. House Republicans only need one Democrat to join them in supporting a pro-life bill in order to override a veto from Gov. Roy Cooper, a pro-abortion Democrat.

Both state House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Phil Berger have voiced support for pro-life legislation. Late last year, Moore told voters to “expect pro-life protections to be a top priority of the legislature.”

Right now, North Carolina allows unborn babies to be aborted for any reason up to 20 weeks. In 2020, there were 30,004 abortions reported in the state, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute.

ACTION ALERT: Tell members of the legislature to support a bill banning abortions. Contact North Carolina lawmakers.

Polls consistently show Americans support legal protections for unborn babies from abortion, especially once their heart begins to beat or after the first trimester. But the problem in North Carolina has been Cooper’s veto and a legislature just shy of the votes needed to override it.

According to the News and Observer, a new House rule about votes on overriding vetoes could help.

Here’s more from the report:

Whether the 71 House Republicans always need one of the 49 Democrats to vote with them to override a veto could come down to who is actually on the floor at the time of the vote. And the timing for those votes to be called is part of the House’s own rules.

The House adopted its rules in a floor vote on Wednesday, over Democrats’ failed attempts to amend them. The new rules eliminate a 48-hour notice of voting on bills, including overrides. Democrats are most worried about veto override votes. Republicans can count who’s in the chamber during any given session and decide to call the vote when numbers favor them.

Moore expressed confidence that the House will be able to pass legislation without the governor’s approval, saying, “Any veto that comes down, we will absolutely override it.”

The rule was written in such a way that the Democrat minority will not be blindsided by a sudden vote. State House Rules Chair Destin Hall said Republicans do want to “override every veto that the governor issues. However, it’s not our goal to do that through trickery or deceit,” according to the report.

If pro-life lawmakers succeed, North Carolina would join 14 other states that now protect unborn babies by prohibiting abortions. Others such as Ohio and South Carolina are fighting in court to enforce their pro-life laws, and still more, including Nebraska and Florida, are considering legislation this winter to protect unborn babies from abortion.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in a historic victory for life and returned the power to legislate abortion to the people. Because of Dobbs v. Jackson, states may protect unborn babies from abortion for the first time in nearly 50 years. Researchers estimate state pro-life laws saved as many as 10,000 unborn babies’ lives in just the first three months.

All pro-life laws allow abortions when the mother’s life is at risk and, in some states, cases of rape and incest. These make up a very small percent of all abortions in the U.S. Research from the Charlotte Lozier Institute found about 96 percent of abortions are for purely elective reasons.

ACTION ALERT: Tell members of the legislature to support a bill banning abortions. Contact North Carolina lawmakers.