North Carolina Republican leaders have failed to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of legislation that would have created a new crime against doctors and nurses who fail to care for an infant delivered during an unsuccessful abortion.
Enough Democrats sided with Cooper to defeat the override Wednesday by a vote of 67-53. An override required 72 votes. The Senate had voted to override in April.
The unsuccessful override hands a victory to abortion-rights groups and lawmakers after a series of legislative defeats in recent weeks in other states, such as Alabama.
The “born-alive” measure would have directed health care practitioners to grant newborns delivered after an abortion the same protections as other patients. Cooper’s veto message said the measure was unnecessary, and laws already protect newborns.
President Donald Trump has expressed support for “born alive” bills.
Governor Cooper’s spokesperson, Megan Thorpe, shared the following statement after the North Carolina House voted to sustain Governor Cooper’s veto of SB359:
“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.”