For Immediate Release: May 16, 2023
NC General Assembly Overrides Gov. Cooper’s 12-Week Bill Veto
RALEIGH, N.C. – The Care for Women, Children and Families Act protecting unborn children at 12 weeks is now law in North Carolina following supermajority votes to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto. According to a Differentiator Data poll, 62% of North Carolinians support protecting babies at 12 weeks, with 68% of Unaffiliated voters and 61% of women supporting.
SB 20 protects life eight weeks sooner than the previous state law. The bill places guardrails around dangerous abortion pills and increases support for mothers and families by allocating $160 million for childcare, parental leave, community college assistance.
SBA Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser celebrated the victory:
“The battleground state of North Carolina has taken a major step forward in the fight for life. By defying Gov. Cooper’s bully tactics and standing for the will of the people, the General Assembly modeled great courage on the issue of life. Elected officials and candidates across this country should take note how pro-life leaders stood up to the extreme abortion agenda of the Democrats to protect life and serve mothers. North Carolinians reject elective painful, late-term abortion and Americans feel the same. According to multiple polls, around two-thirds of Americans want to limit abortion to, at most, the first three months of pregnancy.. Americans value protecting babies in the womb who feel pain, suck their thumbs, make facial expressions and smile.
“We thank legislators for making this a historic day in North Carolina. We are grateful to SBA National Pro-Life Women’s Caucus member Sen. Krawiec, Speaker Moore, Senate Leader Berger and every legislator who voted to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s heartless veto. Today, the General Assembly has shown courage in compassionately protecting life and serving mothers while Gov. Cooper, Attorney General Stein and Democrats attempted to sanction painful late-term abortion through lies and threats.”
Based on the most recent CDC data, protecting unborn children at 12 weeks would impact over 3,000 lives within the state each year, not including reducing abortion tourism from other states.
By 12 weeks’ gestation, all major organs have formed and the heart has beat over 10 million times. At this stage, babies suck their thumbs and already have a right-hand or left-hand preference. Prominent facial features including the nose, cheeks, eyes and ears are recognizable; teeth are developing; and the body responds to touch. For more information on fetal development, see Charlotte Lozier Institute’s “12 Facts at 12 Weeks.”
Provisions of the Care for Women, Children and Families Act include:
- No mail-order abortion pills – maintains current law requiring abortion pills to be administered in person by a doctor, strengthens informed consent on the danger of abortion pills, requires an in-person examination, prohibits advertising illegal sales of abortion pills.
- Protects abortion survivors – babies born alive in failed abortions are entitled to the same legal protections and standard of medical care as any other baby of the same gestational age.
- Combats discrimination – protects unborn children from discrimination based on sex, race or Down syndrome.
- Protects women’s health, safety and informed consent:
- Requires the same health and safety standards for abortion facilities as for other ambulatory surgical centers.
- Ensures that women are not rushed or coerced into unwanted abortions.
- Safeguards the life of the mother in the event of a medical emergency.
- Specifically makes clear that treatment for ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage does not constitute abortion.
- Limits elective and painful late-term abortions – exceptions include rape and incest up to five months and life-limiting fetal anomalies up to six months, with the requirement that palliative care consultation be offered.
The bill provides $160 million in support for children, families and maternal health, including:
- $75 million to expand access to childcare.
- Nearly $59 million (not including federal matching funds) for foster care, kinship care and children’s homes.
- $20 million for maternity and paternity leave for teachers and state employees.
- Over $16 million (including federal matching funds) to reduce infant and maternal mortality.
- $3 million to help mothers and fathers complete community college.
Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America is a network of more than one million pro-life Americans nationwide, dedicated to ending abortion by electing national leaders and advocating for laws that save lives, with a special calling to promote pro-life women leaders.