North Carolina Guv Rips State GOP for Ignoring ‘Will of the People’ With Abortion Ban
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper on Saturday tore into his state’s Republicans for overriding his veto of their 12-week abortion ban, insisting that the GOP lawmakers “ignored the will of the people” and would pay for it during the upcoming 2024 election.
Additionally, Cooper also took a swipe at State Rep. Tricia Cotham, a former Democrat who switched parties last month and gave Republicans a veto-proof majority in both chambers of the state legislature. Prior to her flip to the GOP, Cotham had campaigned as a supporter of abortion rights and won her heavily Democratic district by nearly 20 points.
“It’s amazing how they’ve ignored the will of the people here,” Cooper said on MSNBC’s The Saturday Show with Jonathan Capehart. “Most North Carolinians do not want right-wing politicians in the exam room with women and their doctors, but Republicans are controlled by their right wing.”
He continued: “And in fact, as you heard, not a single Republican stepped up. Not a single Republican kept a campaign promise to protect women’s reproductive freedom, like they said they would. And therefore, you have unified Republicans who are all together in an assault on women’s reproductive freedom.”
Recent polls find that a majority of North Carolina voters oppose the GOP’s 12-week limit on abortions, and instead would prefer the state to keep the previous 20-week restriction or even expand it. Cooper, while acknowledging that the GOP had a supermajority in the legislature, announced his veto last Saturday at a pro-abortion rally in the hopes of pressuring at least one Republican to join Democrats in defeating the override.
In the end, that did not happen.
“This legislation slaps women in the face. It’s an insult. The people of North Carolina are mad,” Cooper declared on Saturday. “They pushed this thing through so fast. It took them 42 hours to turn back the clock 50 years. And they did it in the dark of night because they didn’t want anybody to know what was in this legislation because they know the people don't support it.”
Turning his attention to Cotham, the Democratic governor claimed he had talked with her “quite a bit” in recent months and advised her to push back against her new party, especially since she had initially campaigned as a “pro-choice Democrat.”
“One of the reasons she said that she flipped was because she needed more opportunity for freedom of thought—imagine that—in the Republican Party,” he stated. “But what I’ve urged her to do is to stand up to her new party, just like she stood up to her old one, and keep campaign promises that she made to her constituents and the people of North Carolina.”
With North Carolina Republicans framing their 12-week ban as moderate compared to other states’ more restrictive measures, Cooper was asked what his state’s new law means in the broader national discussion over reproductive rights.
“I think what it means that this issue is going to be front and center in the 2024 elections,” the governor proclaimed. “President Biden has promised his support, and I think you’re going to see in states all over the country where, unfortunately, this battle is being fought because of the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Your zip code shouldn’t determine your constitutional rights, but unfortunately, that’s where we are.”
Cooper concluded: “And in North Carolina, I’ve told the president, I believe that we can win North Carolina for him. We’ll be electing a new Democratic governor to take office in January of 2025, and we’re going to work hard to break the supermajority in the North Carolina legislature.”
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