North Carolina Republicans Phil Berger and Tim Moore have recently clarified their personal beliefs regarding the state’s role in regulating women’s body autonomy.
Senate leader Phil Berger has said recently that he prefers banning abortions after the first trimester. House Speaker Tim Moore said he personally supports legislation that would ban abortions after fetal cardiac activity is detected, which would be around six weeks post-fertilization and before many people know they are pregnant. Both say they’re OK with exceptions in cases of rape and incest, as well as exceptions if the mother’s life is in danger.
Of course, these clarifications only came after Roe v. Wade was overturned – which was the same day that both Moore and Berger wrote a letter to NC Attorney General Josh Stein calling on him to reinstate the 20-week ban on abortion in North Carolina. When AG Stein refused to seek enforcement of the ban, Moore and Berger urged a federal judge in a friend-of-the-court brief to reinstate the ban.
Beyond the 20-week ban, Berger and Moore have said that they aim to win veto-proof supermajorities in both chambers in the upcoming November election. House Speaker Moore specified that “North Carolinians can also expect pro-life protections to be a top priority of the legislature when we return to our normal legislative session in January.”
Despite their attempts to appear more moderate on reproductive rights, both Moore and Berger have repeatedly voted for legislation to restrict abortion access. Under their leadership, Republicans have increased waiting periods to obtain an abortion, cut funding for abortion providers, and even forced doctors to share private, medical information with the state.
If the NC GOP gets their way and does gain a supermajority in both chambers, North Carolinians could potentially see an abortion ban in line with Tim Moore’s personal beliefs; as early as six weeks. However, considering the NC GOP’s past broken promises in regard to abortion, there is no guarantee that Republican legislative leaders would protect abortion at all.
Many Republican elected officials hold extreme views on abortion that are out of touch with North Carolinians. Rep. Ted Budd will be on the top of the ballot this fall as the Republican nominee for US Senate. Budd supports a total abortion ban with no exceptions and would even seek to ban common forms of birth control.