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Planned Parenthood South Atlantic applauds action from governor, urges state lawmakers to uphold his veto

RALEIGH — Governor Roy Cooper today rejected House Bill 453, a bill that would have banned abortion based on the supposed reason behind a patient’s decision. The bill now returns to the General Assembly where state lawmakers have the opportunity to sustain or override his veto. 

“Governor Cooper has proven himself to be a champion for reproductive health care once again, and we applaud his action today,” said Susanna Birdsong, North Carolina Director of Public Affairs of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic. “The state should never interfere with the relationship between a patient and their medical provider or force a person to carry a pregnancy to term against their will. The governor was right to reject this harmful bill, and we urge state lawmakers to uphold his veto.” 

H.B. 453 would compel doctors to inquire about their patient's reason for seeking an abortion, preventing a person from obtaining one if their decision is based on the presumed race of the fetus or a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome. It would also require doctors to provide a statement to the Department of Health and Human Services confirming that the patient did not tell the physician that they were seeking an abortion based on the sex, race, or diagnosis of the fetus.

Disability Rights North Carolina and other civil rights organizations have opposed H.B. 453, noting in committee testimony that “forcing someone to carry a pregnancy to term against their will does nothing to address discrimination against people with disabilities … [nor] does it address the real needs of people with Down syndrome.”