RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) – North Carolina Senate Leader Phil Berger said Monday that the Senate would vote Tuesday on overriding Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the recently passed bill to reduce access to abortion.
Senate Bill 20 was vetoed on Saturday by Cooper, but with supermajorities in both chambers of the General Assembly, a Republican member would have to vote to sustain the veto or not show up to vote to prevent an override.
Should the Senate follow through with an override, the House will then take up the matter on Tuesday evening, Speaker Tim Moore has said, and will face the same requirement of a three-fifths vote on those present to approve a motion to override the veto. Moore has told various media outlets that he is confident of having the votes.
The vote will occur at the scheduled session at 4 p.m., and Berger said during a press conference about the budget bill that the Democrats were being given the required 24-hour notice about the vote.
You may recall that when the House overrode Cooper’s veto of the pistol permits earlier this spring it was because three Democrats didn’t show up to vote, not that they voted with Republicans. One of them, Tricia Cotham of Mecklenburg County, once a vocal opponent of abortion restrictions, has switched from Democrat to Republican.
Before vetoing the bill during a rally on Saturday, Cooper has last week traveling around the state to generate pressure on Cotham, Rep. John Bradford (R-Mecklenburg), Rep. Ted Davis (R-New Hanover) and Sen. Michael Lee (R-New Hanover), all of whom had expressed support for the state’s 20-week window that has been in place since the U.S. Supreme Court ended Roe v. Wade in its Dobbs decision. All but Davis – who was absent – voted for SB 20.
SB 20, the “Care for Women Children and Families Act,” tightens to 12 weeks the window for an elective abortion, retaining for a longer period the access based on exceptions for rape, incest, the health of the mother and fetal abnormalities and adding money for a variety of related initiatives.
This approval was for a 46-page version of a gutted bill about child abandonment that was pushed through within 48 hours of first being revealed. After about six hours of debate, the NC Senate voted, 29-20, on May 4, less than 24 hours after the House voted, 71-46. Both votes were along party lines, with some absences.
“This is the latest chapter in the GOP’s culture war they’re waging on North Carolinians,” State Sen. Michael Garrett (D-Greensboro) said. “During the campaign, they told voters they believed the current law on the books was fine. Now, with supermajorities, they’re returning to governing from the extreme, and this abortion ban is the latest attack on our people’s freedom. I will proudly stand with the majority of North Carolinians in fighting back against this war on freedom and vote to sustain the governor’s veto.”
Said Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford): “This is a deeply personal topic, and I respect opinions on both sides of the discussion. That said, the legislation under consideration is not extreme. It is a reasonable approach to protecting life while providing exceptions for rape, incest, and the health of the mother.”