State lawmakers discuss possibility of reinstating 20-week abortion ban
RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) - With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, more power now lies in the hands of the state. The question is: what will North Carolina lawmakers do with it?
There is talk of a 20-week abortion ban, which was struck down by a federal court in 2019. WITN reached out to state lawmakers to see what they had to say about that possibility.
Currently, the right to an abortion is legal until fetal viability, which is generally between 24 and 28 weeks. Some lawmakers are now calling on Attorney General Josh Stein to ban nearly all abortions after 20 weeks.
“The appetite, while it is to make changes, we just got the ruling on Friday,” Rep. Chris Humphrey said, stressing that it’s still too early to expect any concrete change in the state’s abortion laws. However, he feels we should be ready for developments down the road.
“We’re gonna make some changes, there will be some changes, but probably likely won’t happen until January, November elections, mid-terms, there’s a lot that’s gonna be on the ballot this time,” Humphrey explained.
Rep. Kandie Smith said she would vote against such a law.
“This is not just about abortion; this is about healthcare for women,” Smith explained. “I’ve seen some very strange bills already come up, and we voted on them and the governor vetoes them, and we have yet to bring those for the veto to be overridden, so just no telling what’s next.”
Stein would not directly comment on the possibility of a ban, but he provided this statement in response to WITN’s requests for comment regarding the 20-week ban:
Representative Brian Farkas also would not directly comment on the 20-week ban, but said this: “Denying the right for women and their doctors to make informed health decisions is wrong. It’s not the government’s place to force itself into a deeply personal medical decision and tell someone what they can and cannot do. Each of us should be able to control what happens to our body and have the freedom to make personal choices that are best for our lives and unique set of circumstances.”
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