‘Born Alive’ Veto Override Stalled in NC House

North Carolina House of Representatives meet at the General Assembly Tuesday, June 28, 2016. (North State Journal/Eamon Queeney)

RALEIGH – Weeks ago, the N.C. General Assembly passed Senate Bill 359, the ‘Born Alive Abortion Survivors Act.’ With this bill, sponsors aimed to ensure that children born alive after an abortion attempt were legally entitled to the same medical care as any other new born baby. For those that value life, it’s a no-brainer. Governor Roy Cooper vetoed it, arguing it was unnecessary.

Last week the Republicans of the N.C. Senate, joined by one Democrat, voted to override the governor’s veto. The bill was then sent to the N.C. House to complete the process of enacting this law, the objections of the governor notwithstanding.

However, with weakened majorities resulting from losses after the 2018 elections, the N.C. House Republicans are apparently having a difficult time wrangling enough override votes to make the Born Alive Act law. Democrats seem to be united enough in opposing such a common sense reinforcement to protect life.

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Four House Democrats voted for the act originally, but the Republicans need at least seven Democrats to join them in order to override the veto. It has been placed on the House calendar, then removed, then reinserted, then removed, multiple times.

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Earlier this week, Pro-Life activists gathered near the legislature to urge the N.C. House to follow through on overriding Cooper’s veto.

From the Raleigh News & Observer:

“[…] Members of the pro-life movement held the rally they called “Stand for Life” in the Bicentennial Plaza to show their support of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Act, which Cooper vetoed April 18. They held signs proclaiming “North Carolina Stands for Life” and that “North Carolina Protects the Innocent.” They lit candles as darkness fell on the plaza.

Anti-abortion groups blasted Cooper’s veto, his first of the session.

“I learned that Gov. Cooper was recovering from back surgery. I didn’t know he had a spine,” said John Amanchukwu, referring to the governor’s surgery this week. […]”

The legislation would make it a felony for doctors not to perform life-saving measures on a baby born alive after an abortion attempt. It would also require medical professionals to report doctors, nurses and other staff who refuse to give life-saving care.

A child that, against all odds, survives an attempt to snuff out his or her life inside the womb, is born and is sitting right there in front of medical professionals with the skills and resources to save him or her from a slow and painful death – what should be done? Why it is even a question is beyond me, but the fact that Governor Cooper and many Democrats would stand in the way of legally requiring those medical professionals to offer life-saving care to that baby is abhorrent.

In the State of North Carolina, drivers involved in a hit and run that results in the ‘death or serious injury’ of an individual are charged with a felony and will face time in prison – and that is an accident, followed by criminal neglect. Why should the value and legal protection our government places on a person’s life suddenly dissipate when it comes to abortion survivors?

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