North Carolina lawmakers have approved a new law that bans nearly all abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy. The move comes as a response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2022.
The bill, which passed with a 29-20 vote after several hours of debate, would provide exceptions to the 12-week ban, capping abortions at 20 weeks in cases of rape or incest and 24 weeks for life-limiting fetal anomalies, while an existing exception for when the life of a pregnant woman is in danger will remain. The bill also includes more medical and paperwork requirements for pregnant women and physicians and licensing requirements for abortion clinics.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has pledged to veto the bill, but GOP seat margins and assurances from chamber leaders indicate a veto would likely be overridden.
The legislation has far-reaching consequences, as many women from nearby states with restrictive laws have traveled to North Carolina for abortions in the later stages of pregnancy.