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NC Right to Life’s response to passage of Senate Bill 20

The Care for Women, Children, and Families Act (Senate Bill 20) is the first legislation that provides some protections for unborn babies passed by the NC General Assembly since the overturning of Roe vs Wade on June 24, 2022. It was sent to Governor Cooper on May 4, 2023, who has said he will veto it on Saturday, May13, Mother’s Day weekend. What a rebuke of motherhood!

This is a brief look at what SB 20 provides and does not provide.

The Bill protects babies from chemical and surgical abortion after 12 weeks except allowing abortions for rape and incest up to 20 weeks. It also allows abortion for “life limiting anomalies” up to 24 weeks. The 46-page document defines chemical and surgical abortion, as well as giving a thorough list of complications from such medical interference.

The Bill maintains the 72-hour waiting period, expands informed consent standards for women, ensuring that attestations are signed and understood, and it gives women the right to sue under the laws of the State if she feels she has been coerced or misled prior to obtaining an abortion.

For those seeking chemical abortion, they must be examined in person by a physician to check gestational age and risk of ectopic pregnancy. It specifies that chemical abortions are limited to 70 days (10 weeks) or less, gestational age as per the current FDA recommendations.

Women will have the right to see an ultrasound image of their unborn child, though this is not mandatory, and parents who are not informed of their minor child’s abortion can file suit against the abortionist.

And the Bill offers life-saving protection to babies born as a result of a botched abortion, codifying the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act previously vetoed by Governor Cooper in 2019.

SB 20 protects unborn babies from eugenic abortions, babies who would be aborted simply based on their race, sex, and Down’s syndrome diagnosis. This was language from the human life nondiscrimination legislation which Governor Cooper vetoed in 2021.

One of the weaknesses of the Bill is that it does not include any provisions for information on abortion pill reversal (APR). Given that over 50% of abortions are chemical, this would have certainly strengthened the legislation. Over 4500 babies are alive today because of the abortion pill reversal protocol.

And finally, the Bill creates new requirements for the licensure for abortion facilities, which would be defined as free standing facilities that are neither physically attached to nor operated by a hospital for the performance of abortions during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Post twelve weeks, these procedures are to take place in a hospital.

Despite the protective measures for babies whose lives are threatened by abortion, we question whether much will change given that over 90% of elective abortions happen prior to 12 weeks. Of the 30,000 or so abortions in North Carolina, it may be fair to suggest that less than 10% of these babies will be saved.

The fact remains that over 99% of abortions are performed on healthy women, carrying healthy babies. If they claim abortion is healthcare, exactly what disease are we treating? Because in every case of abortion, a baby dies.



North Carolina Right to Life was founded in 1973, for the purpose of educating and engaging the public about the immense importance of the right to life for all human beings from conception to natural death.

North Carolina Right to Life works to save the life of every unborn child it possibly can.

We hope the new law, which allows unlimited abortion for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, saves many precious lives. But we know that statistically about 90% of abortions occur before 12 weeks. This means that many, many babies with beating hearts will continue to die.

The abortion tragedy in North Carolina has not been solved and we will continue to work for life until these babies are safe as well.

We can’t help but ask the question, “If they claim abortion is healthcare, what disease are we treating?”


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