News: Quick Takes

Cooper vetoes ‘born alive’ bill; pro-life groups fire back

Gov. Roy Cooper (CJ photo by Don Carrington)
Gov. Roy Cooper (CJ photo by Don Carrington)

Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, drew the wrath of pro-life supporters Thursday, April 18, when he vetoed Senate Bill 359, “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.”

The bill would have required medical professionals to provide the same treatment to babies who survive an abortion procedure they give to other infants.

Thursday’s action marks the first veto of the current legislative session, and Cooper’s 29th overall. The Republican-led General Assembly has overridden 23 of his 28 earlier vetoes.

In a news release, Cooper said, “Laws already protect newborn babies, and this bill is an unnecessary interference between doctors and their patients. This needless legislation would criminalize doctors and other health care providers for a practice that simply does not exist.”

Republican leaders and social conservative groups reacted quickly. In a statement, Sen. Joyce Krawiec, R-Forsyth, and Rep. Pat McElraft, R-Carteret, said:

Caring for a living, breathing, newborn infant is too restrictive for Governor Cooper’s radical abortion agenda. We thought Democrats would agree that children born alive should be separate from the abortion debate, but it’s clear that they want the ‘right to choose’ to even extend past birth. This is a sad day for North Carolina.

In a press release titled “Gov. Cooper vetoes babies,” N.C. Values Coalition Executive Director Tami Fitzgerald said, “Our coalition of pro-life advocates will gather our supporters in Raleigh and encourage the General Assembly to override this murderous action.”

It’s unclear if backers of S.B. 359 can gather enough support to override. The bill passed the Senate one vote shy of the 60-percent margin needed to reject a veto; the House passed the measure by a 58-percent margin.