We should all be terrified of North Carolina bill that makes case for murdering abortion seekers

We should all be terrified of North Carolina bill that makes case for murdering abortion seekers

July 21, 2022 0 By Ellen Novack

Aylett Colston, a North Carolina attorney and fair elections advocate, shared a thread on Twitter Tuesday to clear up a few misconceptions about the bill and the state in general. “While the bill that would punish abortion by death penalty is kaput [it’s not going anywhere], that doesn’t mean that right to bodily autonomy is safe in North Carolina,” Colston tweeted. “There’s an NC law banning abortions after 20 weeks that was previously struck by courts & some lawmakers are trying to get it reinstated [I don’t know the likely outcome].”

She explained that the state legislature, the North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA), writes and passes legislation. The governor can veto laws, but the General Assembly can overturn the veto with a vote of three-fifths present and voting in each chamber. “Republicans currently have a majority of the seats in the NCGA [state legislature], but don’t have three-fifths of each chamber, so they don’t have the votes to override a veto now,” Colston tweeted. “But NC state legislative elections are this year.”   

House Speaker Tim Moore has said legislation restricting abortions will be “a top priority” if the GOP wins a veto-proof majority of seats in November.

”North Carolinians can rest assured that we are taking the necessary steps to ensure that current restrictions on the books will be enforced,” Moore told WRAL in June. “North Carolinians can also expect pro-life protections to be a top priority of the legislature when we return to our normal legislative session in January.”

Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order on July 6 to protect those seeking abortion services in the state from being extradited and prevent state agencies from helping other states prosecute those seeking abortions except when required by court order.

But that should bring little comfort. “Since the NCGOP took over the NCGA in 2010, we’ve seen they can be fast and sneaky when they want to be,” Colston tweeted. “Like when they put anti-abortion provisions into a motorcycle-safety bill in the middle of the night in 2013.”

That’s when Republican Gov. Pat McCrory threatened to veto the state Senate’s anti-abortion legislation “unless significant changes and clarifications are made,” so the House and Senate did so and rushed the changes through in motorcycle safety legislation, Daily Kos earlier reported.

RELATED STORY: North Carolina House sneaks revised anti-abortion language onto motorcycle safety bill

“So while there is NOT a law on the books in NC that punishes people who have abortions with the death penalty, North Carolinians’ bodily autonomy is still at risk over the next few months,” Colston tweeted. “If Republicans win three-fifths of each chamber of the NC General Assembly in November [which is possible], then NC could see abortion outlawed or severely restricted by the end of the year.”

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