RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s Republican-controlled Senate voted Tuesday to override the Democratic governor’s veto of a bill banning most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy in the first of two steps necessary to enact the policy over Gov. Roy Cooper’s opposition.
House Republicans will attempt late Tuesday to complete the override in a consequential test of unity for their recently attained supermajority. In both the House and Senate, Republicans hold the exact three-fifths majority needed to pull off an override if all members are present and vote together.
While House Speaker Tim Moore has made repeated assurances that he has the votes, one key Republican has declined to state publicly his position on the bill.
Cooper vetoed the measure over the weekend in an unconventionally public ceremony after spending last week traveling around the state to convince at least one Republican to uphold his expected veto. Republicans have pitched the measure as a middle-ground change to state law, which currently bans nearly all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, without exceptions for rape or incest.
Cooper singled out four GOP lawmakers — one in the Senate and three in the House — whom he said made “campaign promises” to protect abortion access. Among them is Rep. Ted Davis of Wilmington, who was the lone Republican absent for the original vote and has not indicated whether he will support the override attempt.
If legislators vote to sustain Cooper’s veto, it will mark a major victory for the Democrat. Cooper’s veto power recently diminished when Rep. Tricia Cotham of Mecklenburg County switched parties from Democrat to Republican.