NC governor blasts state Republicans over abortion restrictions: ‘They’ve ignored the will of the people’

·2 min read

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) blasted state Republicans over the 12-week abortion ban they passed, saying they “ignored the will of the people.”

Cooper told MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart in an interview on Saturday that most people in the state do not want “right-wing politicians in the exam room with women and their doctors.” But he said Republicans were unified in conducting an “assault” on reproductive rights.

“It’s amazing how they’ve ignored the will of the people here,” he said.

Cooper said Republicans pushed through the legislation in the “dark of night” because they know that people do not support the bill.

The Republican-controlled state General Assembly was able to complete an override of Cooper’s veto of the bill in a vote on Tuesday evening after the state Senate voted to override it earlier that day.

The law reduces the period when a woman can legally have an abortion in the state from 20 weeks to 12 weeks of pregnancy. It also restricts the period when medical abortions can be performed to 10 weeks.

Republicans have argued the law is a middle-ground measure between unrestricted abortion access and laws that many states have passed following the overturning of Roe v. Wade last year to ban abortion after six weeks of pregnancy or almost entirely.

But Cooper and Democrats in the state legislature have argued the new restrictions are incompatible with what North Carolinians want and impose state authority on decisions that should be left between a woman and her doctor.

Cooper vetoed the bill last week, arguing that it will make abortion unavailable particularly for low-income women and those who live in rural areas and have limited access to health care. The two houses of the state legislature overrode the veto in party-line votes.

Cooper said women’s health will be hurt in multiple areas, especially in the cases of women who have hourly salaried jobs, because the bill requires women to make multiple visits to an abortion clinic before having an abortion.

He said he expects the issue of abortion access will be “front and center” during the 2024 elections, notably in the states that have moved to restrict abortion since Roe was overturned.

“Your zip code shouldn’t determine your constitutional rights, but unfortunately, that’s where we are,” Cooper said. “More attention needs to be paid to governors’ races and to state legislative races because this is where those issues are going to be decided.”

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