State legislators pass Downs abortion bill

Solons are waiting Gov. Roy Cooper’s signature or veto on a bill prohibiting abortion due to race or Down syndrome.

The Human Life Non-Discrimination Act, House Bill 453, Passed the state house by a vote of 67-42, with six Democrats siding with the Republican majority. The state Senate passed the bill straight along party lines, 27-20.

Rep. Brenden Jones, Rep. Carson Smith, and Sen. Danny Britt all voted in favor of the bill.

State Representatives Pat McElraft (R-Carteret) and Dr. Kristin Baker (R-Cabarrus) were the primary sponsors of HB 453. Cooper has until June 25 to sign the bill into law or veto it. A two-thirds majority in both house would be required to override the veto.

Baker, who is a child psychiatrist, said in a prepared statement that six states already prohibit abortion due to race, and 14 have laws prohibiting selective sex abortions. North Carolina was the 12th state to prohibit gender as a reason for aborting a child.

“It is already illegal in North Carolina to have an abortion based on a child’s gender,” she said. “This legislation simply extends those same protections to include race and a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.”

Jones issued a statement on social media supporting the House bill, and encouraging Cooper to sign it into law.

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Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at [email protected].