Media Contact

Keisha Williams, [email protected]

May 16, 2023

Raleigh — Both chambers of the North Carolina General Assembly have voted to override Governor Cooper’s veto of Senate Bill 20, which bans abortion after only 12 weeks of pregnancy and imposes significant restrictions on abortion throughout pregnancy.  

On Saturday, Governor Cooper vetoed the bill at a rally with thousands of attendees gathered at Bicentennial Mall in downtown Raleigh to protest the legislature’s attempt to curtail reproductive freedom. He cited the bill’s medically unnecessary restrictions and its disproportionate impact on low-income women and those that live in rural areas as reasons for vetoing.  

Today, both chambers of the General Assembly voted to override the veto, forcing the bill into law without the governor’s signature and ignoring the majority of North Carolinians who are opposed to abortion being banned in their state. Yesterday, more than 200 large and small businesses across the state came out against the ban, highlighting the severe economic impacts of pushing abortion out of reach.  

“This is a devastating loss for the fundamental rights of North Carolinians,” said ACLU of North Carolina Senior Policy Counsel Liz Barber. “This abortion ban is life-threatening. Forcing someone to carry a pregnancy to term and give birth against their will is a human rights violation of the highest order. Now, we must hold those politicians accountable who prioritized their own interests over the will of the people.” 

Protesters showed up for the Senate and House sessions and crowded around the windows to show lawmakers what they think of this bill. Despite not being given the opportunity to speak by the General Assembly, the people made sure their voices would be heard. 

The ACLU-NC will continue to fight for reproductive rights in our state. Our abortion guide will remain up to date as these new provisions go into effect on July 1, 2023 and we will continue to work with our community partners to secure abortion access for North Carolinians.