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North Carolina Democrats brace for final passage of abortion ban the GOP passed ‘in the dead of night’

North Carolina Democrats are poised to fight the 12-week abortion ban Tuesday, even if Republicans have made it all but impossible.

The Tar Heel State has made national headlines this month for a dramatic turn of events over the state’s abortion laws. Despite several states enacting extreme bans since Roe v. Wade, most abortion rights advocates were confident that North Carolina would maintain its 20-week abortion restriction because of pro-choice Gov. Roy Cooper (D) and his veto powers.

But after one lawmaker’s stunning party switch, Republicans now hold a large veto-proof majority, making Cooper’s veto useless for the 12-week abortion ban state GOP leaders pushed through the legislature. earlier this month.

The legislature set a vote Tuesday at 4 pm EST to overturn Cooper’s recent decision. veto the 12-week abortion ban which will have devastating consequences for the entire Southeast if enacted. North Carolina is not only a critical hotspot for those who live there, but also for thousands who have been forced cross state lines to receive care since her home state outlawed abortion.

And the Democrats are preparing for the worst.

“The last week or so has shown how many people in North Carolina are really opposed to this,” state Rep. Julie von Haefen (D) told HuffPost. She said she hopes her fellow Republicans are listening to the widespread dissent on the abortion ban, but she is not optimistic.

“Honestly, we’ve seen Republicans here in our state vote in unison on almost every issue like this,” von Haefen added. “Whether it’s guns, private school vouchers or abortion, we don’t really see the Republican caucuses secede from their ranks and that’s disappointing.”

Republicans wrote closed-door abortion ban and unveiled it earlier this month to the surprise of many voters in the state. Instead of introducing a new law, Republican lawmakers quietly put the 46 page abortion restriction in an unrelated bill. The measure allowed Republicans to bypass the committee process, where most public testimony is heard and amendments can be added, and go directly to the vote less than 48 hours after introducing legislation.

“This was always her plan, to run this without any clues, in the dead of night, so that the rest of the general public doesn’t know that little girls today will have fewer rights than their mothers,” said State Senator Sydney. Batch (D) said of her fellow Republicans.

“They want this to be done as quickly as possible,” he added. “They want to keep this annulment and they want to stop talking about abortion. But we will not allow them to be done.”

If Republicans successfully override Cooper’s veto, the 12-week ban and its additional restrictions on medical abortion will take effect July 1.

Less than 24 hours after Republicans introduced the bill, the state House was voting on it. It gave lawmakers extremely limited time to read the 46-page bill and ask pertinent questions. Even the bill’s sponsors had trouble answering questions from Democrats during the limited time of the debate, von Haefen said. She hopes the Republican leadership will allow debate before the override vote, but since debate was banned during the last nullify a vote on a gun law – not likely.

copper banned the 12-week abortion ban at a rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, last weekend surrounded by doctors, abortion rights advocates and fellow Democrats. In an attempt to rally support to maintain his veto, Cooper traveled to several swing districts in the weeks since Republicans promoted the ban on abortion through the legislature.

“If only a Republican follows his conscience, if only a Republican finds the courage, if only a Republican listens to doctors, if only a Republican is not afraid to stand up to political bosses, if only a Republican keeps the promise he made to people, then we can stop this ban.” Cooper said before vetoing the bill.

Although Republicans hold a large veto-proof majority, there are four lawmakers that Cooper and other Democrats have considered potential swing votes who have previously vowed to protect abortion services. Three Republicans in the state House, Reps. John Bradford, Ted Davis Jr. and Tricia Cotham, and one in the Senate, Sen. Michael V Lee. However, read told the New York Times that a 12-week ban is in line with his views on abortion.

Davis declined to comment on the bill, but House Speaker Tim Moore (R) saying Davis is a “yes” vote for an annulment. While running for re-election last year, Davis fiance to support the state’s existing 20-week restriction.

Batch said he knows several Republicans who personally don’t support the 12-week abortion ban, but will vote along party lines anyway.

That just leaves Bradford and Cotham. Bradford, who has yet to comment on the ban, said last year that it had no intention of restricting abortion beyond the current limit of 20 weeks.

Cotham is the controversial figure and central to the creation of the 12-week abortion ban. She changed party earlier this year, giving Republicans their critical veto-proof supermajority. The former Democrat was once an outspoken advocate for abortion rights, including sharing her own abortion story on the House floor in an impassioned plea against the abortion restriction in 2015. Earlier this year, she cosponsored a bill to codify abortion protections in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe v. Wade last summer.

“That you could go 180 and just ignore your own history and your own values ​​in the way that she has, I can’t explain, and I don’t know how anyone could do that,” von Haefen said.

Cotham said he switched parties because the Democratic Party had changed since he first joined more than five years ago and his fellow Democrats were in control. However, Batch’s understanding of Cotham’s election is that there were Republican lobbyists helping her raise a significant amount of money in her 2022 primary race.

“It is a betrayal of every single person in your district. That he would not only switch parties, but also violate and break absolutely every promise that he made to his constituents,” Batch said. “It was bait and switch, and it was always going to be bait and switch.”

Democrats will do everything they can to persuade their fellow Republicans to maintain Cooper’s veto, but no matter what, they won’t give up without a fight.

“The people of North Carolina deserve to know that there are representatives fighting for them. We may get squashed, but we’re going to lose loud in the process: if we’re going to lose, we’re going to lose loud,” Batch said. “It’s the least we can do to show everyone in North Carolina what’s really going on in Raleigh.”

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