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RALEIGH, April 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – North Carolina Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed legislation Thursday morning that would require abortionists to provide basic medical care to newborns who survive failed abortions, just days after the measure cleared the state legislature.

The North Carolina Senate approved Senate Bill 359 on Monday and the state House approved it on Tuesday. It requires infants born alive after attempted abortions to be guaranteed the “same claim to the protection of the law that would arise for any newborn, or for any person who comes to a hospital, clinic, or other facility.” Violators would be guilty of a Class D felony and face a fine of up to $250,000.

“Nurses, doctors, if you see something, you have a duty to report. And that’s a big part of this bill,” GOP state Rep. Sarah Stevens said.

Yet Cooper, who had previously criticized the measure, vetoed it, WRAL reports. “Laws already protect newborn babies, and this bill is an unnecessary interference between doctors and their patients,” he claimed. “This needless legislation would criminalize doctors and other health care providers for a practice that simply does not exist.”

Cooper’s rationale is the same as that deployed by national Democrats and their allies in response to similar federal legislation.

In response, pro-lifers note that current federal law does not contain specific criminal penalties for withholding treatment from a newborn after a failed abortion, and pro-lifers distrust abortionists’ claims that infanticide never happens. During debate over the bill, North Carolina lawmakers heard testimony alleging that wasn’t the case.

“Nurses told stories of babies who were born alive and were taken by the doctor and turned face down in the saline,” GOP state Rep. Pat McElraft said, relaying what she saw during her past career as a phlebotomist. “I can attest to the fact that infanticide has happened here in NC. I’ve been witness to the result of those late-term abortions.”

“It's unclear if Republicans can override his veto,” the Associated Press notes. “They'll need some Democrat legislators to join them.”