The N.C. House fell short Wednesday in its attempt to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of Senate Bill 359, the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Act. The 67-53 tally was short of the 60-percent margin needed to reverse the governor. The Senate had voted in May to override Cooper.
Two Democrats — Reps. Charles Graham, Robeson, and Garland Pierce, Scotland — joined all Republicans present in the override vote.
S.B. 359 would have required doctors and other medical professionals to offer life-saving services to babies who survived an abortion procedure. It also would have required the professionals involved to report the occurrence to the state. Felony charges, fines, and potential prison time faced those who failed to offer services or report the procedure.
Supporters portrayed the measure as a humane intervention to save infants’ lives. Opponents said the measure added needless bureaucracy to medical care and also might discourage abortions that might be necessary to save pregnant women from life-threatening deliveries. Foes also called the bill a political stunt.
Cooper’s veto was his 29th since taking office in 2017 and the first this year. The General Assembly has overturned 23 of the earlier vetoes.