Despite the best efforts of Democratic Governor Bev Perdue and reproductive health advocates, North Carolina has officially overridden Perdue’s veto of the 24 hour mandatory ultrasound and wait period for abortions, as well as additional fetal development and child supporting information made mandatory in the new “Women’s Right to Know” Act.
It was expected from the start that the override would be close — the original bill passed the Senate only two votes shy of a veto-proof majority. But in the end, the bill made it because the two Republicans who did not support it in the original vote chose to ask for “excused absences” for the day.
Rather than chose between voting for the bill and bucking the rest of the party, or voting against the bill and allowing the veto to stand and the bill to be tabled, or even just not voting, the two senators who wouldn’t vote with their party received excused absences to miss the vote. With two missing, the number needed to override the veto dropped from 30 votes to 29. With a completely party line vote, the Republicans had exactly enough members to override the veto.
Now, North Carolina will have some of the most extreme anti-abortion legislation in the country go onto the books. The ultrasound, waiting period and “informed consent” requirements have no exceptions for victims of rape, incest or those who are seeking abortions for health concerns, making it one of the most restrictive in the nation.
The new law will go into effect in 90 days.