Source: Editorial Board
North Carolina Republicans have fallen short of their goal of regaining a supermajority in the General Assembly. As a result, Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto power will be protected for the remainder of his second term.
This security is pivotal to Democrats’ ability to stop extreme legislation in its tracks such as the threat of abortion restrictions.
Republican leaders have already indicated their desire to pass new abortion laws in 2023. Senate Leader Phil Berger has said that he prefers 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.
Moore and Berger have repeatedly voted for legislation to restrict abortion access. Under their leadership, Republicans have already increased waiting periods to obtain an abortion, cut funding for abortion providers, and even forced doctors to share private, medical information with the state.
Republicans in the General Assembly will not be able to pass new abortion restrictions without Democratic support since they failed to obtain a veto-proof majority.
Democrats were able to protect Cooper’s veto power while running aggressive campaigns on maintaining reproductive freedom. Jillian Riley of Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic told the Associated Press that these results show North Carolinians value abortion access.
Riley said, “Any politician that interprets the results of this election as a mandate to pass a ban on abortion is gravely misreading the electorate.”
Governor Cooper has repeatedly expressed his commitment to vetoing anti-abortion legislation and has a proven track record of working with his fellow Democrats to ensure his vetos are not overridden.
According to the Associated Press, “In the past four years without Republican veto-proof majorities, none of Cooper’s 47 vetoes have been overridden. They included vetoes on legislation designed to loosen gun laws and COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, and make limited abortion change.”
Berger said discussions have not yet occurred on what to do about abortion post-election. Both Berger and Moore confirmed that no votes will take place in the General Assembly until the 2023 long session.