RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A top Republican in the General Assembly said Thursday that “at a high level” Republicans have reached a consensus on new abortion restrictions that would include a ban after about 12 weeks of pregnancy with certain exceptions.
House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) said those exceptions would include rape, incest, protecting the life of the mother, and fetal abnormalities.
“I think we’re really close to being on the same page. The Senate has a work group. The House has a work group. I don’t want to get into all the details of it. But, at a high level that consensus position I think is what you’re going to see,” he said.
Moore has said the House and Senate were trying to reach a consensus on a single bill to file that would pass both chambers, but it still could be weeks until that happens.
“There are some other provisions that are being worked through on making it easier when it comes to adoption, provisions to improve access to healthcare for expectant mothers and children,” Moore said.
Republicans have met privately for months since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year to try to reach an agreement among themselves on what new restrictions to pursue.
Current law in North Carolina bans abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy with limited exceptions for medical emergencies.
Speaker Moore has said previously he would support a so-called “heartbeat bill” that would ban abortion at the point a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which could be as early as six weeks.
Republican Senate leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) has previously said he would support a ban after the first trimester with similar exceptions outlined by Moore. Berger said he was unavailable to talk to reporters following Thursday’s Senate session.
Furthermore, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) responded Friday to the statements.
“This is wrong for North Carolina, and just like what they’re trying do to do with the abortion drug that’s on the market and trying to take it off the market. They are trying to limit women’s freedom when it comes to reproductive health,” Gov. Cooper said.
North Carolina’s policy director for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, Jillian Riley, said the state has been a resource to women in other parts of the south that already have more restrictive laws on abortion.
“Abortion bans already disproportionately hurt those that have the least access to quality healthcare, people with low incomes people in rural areas, people of color, people with disabilities,” Riley said. “It would be absolutely detrimental to the people of North Carolina and the people of the southeast of this nation who need to come to North Carolina in order to access abortion care.”