NC Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper Vetoes Bill Banning Down Syndrome Abortions

Five week old Oliver van Vuuren and his mother Lynn van Vuuren on March 20, 2012 in Pretor
Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) vetoed a bill Friday that would have banned abortions in his state sought because the unborn baby has a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.

The bill would have required abortion providers to sign a document stating an abortion was not sought for a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis or because of the race or sex of the unborn baby.

Cooper vetoed HB453, the Human Life Nondiscrimination Act, stating the bill “gives the government control over what happens and what is said in the exam room between a woman and her doctor at a time she faces one of the most difficult decisions of her life.”

“This bill is unconstitutional and it damages the doctor-patient relationship with an unprecedented government intrusion,” Cooper added. “Therefore, I veto the bill.”

However, Tami Fitzgerald, president of NC Values Coalition, said in a statement.

Saving unborn babies who have been diagnosed with Down Syndrome from being targeted for selective abortion based solely on their disability prevents discrimination. Ending that kind of discrimination based on a disability is most certainly not an “unprecedented government intrusion” as Cooper said, because our Civil Rights laws were intentioned to end just that kind of discrimination. The Governor should mind his own “unprecedented government intrusions” in the past year.

In 2019, Cooper also vetoed a bill that would have protected infants who survive abortion from infanticide.

Liz Barber, policy analyst for the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, applauded Cooper’s veto.

She said, “We have a lot of work to do to end discrimination against marginalized groups, but unconstitutionally limiting access to medical care based on the government’s moral judgment does not contribute in any way to those efforts,” the Dispatch reported.

But House Speaker Tim Moore (R) asserted the legislation “had bipartisan support in the House.” He stated, “We will continue to work hard to protect the unborn.”

“And we will support individuals with disabilities and the families who care for them,” he said. “They deserve nothing less.”

Moore reacted to the governor’s veto:

Gender, race, and disability are protected classes in most other contexts. Why should we allow the unborn to be discriminated against for these same traits? The message sent by this veto is that some human life is more valuable than others based on immutable characteristics.

During a recent interview with the Daily Caller, pro-life Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) provided his take on politicians who back abortion. “The people that aren’t supportive of the life cause, they’re not people you want to be in a foxhole with on any other political battle,” DeSantis asserted. “They are the first ones who will sell out to the DC establishment when the going gets tough.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) also recently vowed to veto any pro-life legislation lawmakers in his state passed, including a bill that would ban abortions sought because the unborn child has a diagnosis of Down syndrome.

In 2019 as well, Wolf vetoed the same legislation that would have banned Down syndrome abortions.


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