By Peyton Majors
Christian Action League
May 19, 2023
The North Carolina legislature this week overrode the governor’s veto in passing historic protections for the unborn and their mothers, prohibiting abortion after 12 weeks and approving millions of dollars in assistance for pregnant women and moms in need.
The Senate passed SB 20 by a vote of 30-20, with the House approving it by a vote of 72-48. It is known as the Care for Women, Children and Families Act.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper had vetoed the bill and had even held a rally urging Republicans to vote against it and sustain his opposition. In the end, though, the Republican caucus in both chambers stuck together. Every “yes” vote in the House and Senate came from members of the GOP, and every “no” vote came from Democrats.
“It shall be unlawful after the twelfth week of a woman’s pregnancy to advise, procure, or cause a miscarriage or abortion,” the new law states.
It makes exceptions for a medical emergency and for the life of the mother. It also makes exceptions for rape and incest through the 20th week of pregnancy.
“This is not extreme,” Sen. Vickie Sawyer, a Republican and bill sponsor, said during floor debate. “And this is most definitely not an abortion ban.”
Sen. Amy S. Galey, a Republican who backed the bill, agreed.
“An unborn baby at some point during the pregnancy becomes a person who deserves the protection of the law,” she said. “An unborn baby is not a sack of cells in the uterus. It is not a cancer. It is not a parasite.”
Sawyer touted the parts of the bill that were often overlooked in media coverage.
“I am fully aware that many women do not use abortion as a means of birth control but are simply afraid to keep the baby because of financial reasons,” she said. “This bill helps those women to say yes to their babies by providing $160 million in state funding.”
The bill, she said, includes “over $17 million specifically for reducing infant and maternal mortality, incentivizing more pregnancy care providers to see women on Medicaid.”
It includes “$75 million for childcare subsidies for working mothers and their families” and “$47 million for foster care families and children’s homes,” Sawyer said.
“Women facing this decision will now be told of all their options from abortion to neonatal and perinatal palliative care,” Sawyer added. “This is a true informed consent for the mother so she can fully understand the prognosis and make a difficult yet loving family decision.”
Sen. Michael Lee, a Republican, echoed his colleagues.
“We’re talking about two lives,” Lee said. “… No one is talking about at what point a life begins.”
North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore called it “meaningful, mainstream legislation.”
“Senate Bill 20 will save lives and provide needed support for women and families while putting North Carolina’s abortion law in line with the rest of the free world,” Moore said.
Rev. Mark Creech of the Christian Action League applauded the legislature for overriding the governor’s veto. Creech said the new law will save many lives.
“One hundred and fifty-six years ago, Americans were deeply divided over slavery. The fundamental similarity between the practice of slavery by Americans then and the practice of abortion today is the issue of human rights,” Creech said. “Just as slavery deprived African Americans of their basic human rights, abortion also violates the right to life of an unborn child.
“There is also the issue of the dehumanization of a specific group of people,” he added. “Enslaved people were dehumanized and seen as property rather than human beings. Today’s unborn child is viewed solely as a biological entity rather than a human with intrinsic worth and dignity. The language used to describe the child, such as ‘products of conception’ or ‘fetus,’ further reinforces this dehumanization.”
Pro-choice arguments, he said, never discuss the victim: the unborn child.
“This is the essence of any pro-choice argument. Victims are not equal and, therefore, ineligible for serious consideration. Can you hear faintly in the background, the champions of the Confederacy? ‘Well, no one makes you own a slave. Yet, you want to make it illegal for me. You are anti-choice, anti-freedom, and would impose your view of morality on others.’ This same argument, in principle, was made today by several Democrats in defense of abortion,” Creech said.
“O that we would learn from our history so we wouldn’t be condemned to repeat it as we are now doing.”
Creech added, “This fight must continue. Blacks didn’t choose slavery, and babies didn’t choose abortion. This wholesale slaughter of the innocents must end! God hasten the day when Americans will look back and rue the way we were about abortion in the same manner we now look with disdain on slavery.”