North Carolina’s Republican-led House of Representatives failed to override a veto by the state’s Democratic governor that kept a bill from becoming law that would require doctors to try to preserve the life of an infant born alive during an attempted abortion.
According to the North Carolina Legislature’s website, the House failed to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” in a 67-53 vote. To override the veto, lawmakers needed the approval of three-fifths of each chamber.
The failed override effort in North Carolina is in contrast to a number of states with GOP-controlled legislatures that have passed restrictive measures on abortion.
Those states include Georgia, Louisiana and Missouri, which have passed laws that would ban abortions early in a pregnancy – before many women know they are pregnant. Alabama went even further, with GOP Gov. Kay Ivey signing a bill into law that would punish doctors who perform abortions with life in prison. Ivey noted when she signed the bill that the measure could be unenforceable due to its clash with the landmark Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.
The wave of abortion measures has ignited controversy and legal action. Entertainment companies have debated openly the possibility they would relocate ventures planned for Georgia if the state’s new abortion law takes effect, and abortion providers and abortion-rights advocates have pledged to hold up the new laws in court.
Late last month, a federal judge blocked a Mississippi abortion law similar to those passed in other states.
Each of those states has both a Republican-led legislature and a Republican governor, except for Louisiana, where Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards approved a bill to ban abortion once a heartbeat is detected, with no exceptions for rape or incest. North Carolina’s governor is a Democrat, while the state’s legislature is majority Republican.
A CNN poll conducted by SSRS suggested a role for the abortion debate in the coming elections, with three in 10 people saying they would only vote for a candidate for major office who shares their views on abortion.
Under the proposed North Carolina law, if a health care practitioner did not try to preserve the life of an infant born alive during an abortion attempt, they would be guilty of a class D felony. The proposal says if anyone intentionally “performs an overt act” that kills the baby, they would be guilty of murder.
In a letter announcing his veto in April, Cooper said the bill was an “unnecessary interference between doctors and their patients” and would “criminalize doctors and other healthcare providers for a practice that simply does not exist.”
Cooper on Wednesday said in a statement posted to Twitter that “it’s important to protect the lives of all children, and laws already exist to protect newborn babies.”
“Instead of passing unnecessary legislation for political purposes we need to move on from divisive social issues and focus on the needs of North Carolina families: education, health care and good-paying jobs,” he said.
CNN’s Jason Hanna and Caroline Kelly contributed to this report.