House Overrides Informed Consent Veto

Special Report - July 27, 2011

On Tuesday afternoon, the North Carolina House of Representatives voted to override the Governor’s veto on HB 854—Abortion-Woman’s Right to Know, a measure that helps ensure that women considering abortion are given complete and accurate information about the procedure and their unborn child. “This vote was a bipartisan vote to ensure that mothers receive the factual, non judgmental, and complete information they need to make an informed abortion decision affecting their unborn children,” stated Barbara Holt, President of North Carolina Right to Life, in a statement. "Many unborn children's lives will be saved and their mothers will be spared much heartache when the legislature completes its work of overriding the Governor's veto.”

The motion to override the Governor’s veto of the bill passed 72-47—the exact three-fifths margin needed for a successful override. Although HB 854 had previously passed the House by a vote of 71-48 with bipartisan support from Rep. Bill Brisson (D–Bladen), Rep. Dewey Hill (D–Columbus), and Rep. Tim Spear (D–Washington), the margin fell just one vote shy of a three-fifths supermajority. The Governor vetoed HB 854 on June 27.

For Tuesday’s override effort, the one extra vote needed came from Rep. Jim Crawford (D–Granville), who had previously voted against the measure. According to the News & Observer, Rep. Crawford said that he had voted against the bill out of sense of “obligation” saying, “I tried to support my party but my heart wasn’t in it, and I felt like this [supporting the override] was the right way to go.”

After nearly two hours of intense and emotional debate, the successful override vote brought smiles and tears to the eyes of many in the prolife community who had worked for years to secure passage of this measure. HB 854 now goes to the Senate, where 30 votes are needed to secure the necessary three-fifths majority for a successful override, which would allow the law to go into effect, despite the Governor’s veto. Previously, the bill passed by 29-20 in the Senate, and one additional Senate vote is necessary to give HB 854 final legislative approval.

The override vote in the Senate could come as early as Wednesday. Should the bill pass the Senate by a three-fifths margin, the law would go into effect on October 1, 2011.

 “Today’s vote in the House to override the governor’s veto of HB 854 is a big step towards victory, not only for the pro-life community in North Carolina, but especially for women facing unplanned pregnancies who deserve time to reflect upon a decision that has life-altering consequences for women and their unborn children, as well as accurate information about the abortion procedure and its potential negative effects,” said Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “Even more so, when this bill becomes law, it will mean life for the 3,000 children who will be spared each year from abortion.

Related resources:
Governor Vetoes Informed Consent - June 28, 2011
Standing for Life as Session Ends- June 18, 2011
Victory for Life in NC House - June 9, 2011
Informed Consent Bill Heads to Floor- May 20, 2011
House Committee Passes Pro-Life Bill- May 12, 2011
Bill Emphasizes Woman's Right to Know - April 8, 2011
Informed Consent -FNC- April, 2011

Copyright © 2012. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.

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