North Carolina lawmakers override veto of ultrasound law
Updated: 07/29/2011 - 12:30pm
Raleigh, NC, July 27, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Today, the North Carolina Senate voted to override Democratic Governor Beverly Perdue’s veto of the Women’s Right to Know Act.
The Senate voted 29-19 to cancel Gov. Bev Perdue’s veto of the bill, which mandates a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion is performed and requires abortion clinics to provide mothers seeking an abortion with additional information, including an ultrasound.
The North Carolina House already voted to override the veto earlier this week, so the measure will now become law.
Republican Senate leader Phil Berger of Eden told reporters Wednesday he thought there would be enough votes to override the measure when it came up Thursday.
The Senate had voted 29-20 to approve the bill in June - one vote short of the veto-proof majority it needed. But the lone Republican who voted no - Senator Stan Bingham of Denton - said this week he’d either vote no again or not vote at all. Today, Senator Bingham left the building before the override vote.
A three-fifths majority was required to override the veto; with Bingham not voting - and everyone else voting as they did in June - the veto was canceled. Republican Senator Richard Stevens also did not vote.
A press release issued by Republican Senate leadership following the veto override noted that numerous states have similar laws.
According to the General Assembly’s nonpartisan Fiscal Research staff, the law will reduce the number of abortions in North Carolina by about 10 percent. But the law does not prevent women from getting abortions.
“We’ve heard a lot of misinformation and a lot of fear mongering from elected officials who want abortion on demand,” said Republican Senator Warren Daniel of Morganton, who introduced the bill in the Senate. “The bottom line is this will make abortions safer and rarer – two things everyone claims to support.”
“The Act was drafted to send a statement that North Carolina is interested in protecting innocent life,” Senator Daniel emphasized in an interview with LifeSiteNews. “This particular bill was originally authored back in 1997 and was never allowed to come up for consideration, despite being endorsed by over 15 female legislators over that time period.”
In a statement, North Carolina’s two bishops, Bishops Michael Burbidge of Raleigh and Peter Jugis of Charlotte applauded the legislative override. “This new law affords protection to the lives of many innocent unborn children. It also respects the dignity of women.” In addition, Bishop Burbidge commented, “I am profoundly grateful for all the priests, religious and laity in our Diocese who offered their fervent prayers and strong support on behalf of this historic legislation.”
As previously reported by LifeSiteNews, on June 30 a letter pledging personal support for the ultrasound veto override by Bishop Jugis of Charlotte was published in the Charlotte Observer newspaper. Bishop Jugis wrote, “In the coming weeks, my prayers and efforts will be focused on convincing at least two more legislators that the Woman’s Right to Know Act respects the dignity of a woman with an unplanned pregnancy as she considers the fate of the innocent human life she carries in her womb.”
Since the November 2010 elections, when North Carolina Republicans won majorities in both the state Senate and House for the first time in more than a century, there have been three major pro-life votes. The legislature passed “Ethen’s Law,” which made the unborn child a separate victim in violent crime. They also voted to override the veto of a budget bill gutting Planned Parenthood funding, and voted to allow Choose Life specialty license plates.