North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper Not Expected to Sign Down Syndrome Abortion Bill

North Carolina Democratic Governor Roy Cooper is not expected to sign an anti-abortion bill that passed through the state Senate on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.

The Republican-led bill would ban women from getting an abortion on the basis of sex, race or prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. It passed by a vote of 27-20.

The bill was opposed by state Senate Democrats, including Sarah Crawford, who worked with children and adults with disabilities during her time as the head of the Tammy Lynn Center for Developmental Disabilities. Crawford told AP that the bill would force women to carry out pregnancies they are not prepared for.

"This bill is not about the joy that people with disabilities bring to the world," Crawford said. "This bill is about controlling women. Simple as that."

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

North Carolina Abortion Bill
North Carolina Democratic Governor Roy Cooper is not expected to sign an anti-abortion bill that passed through the state Senate on Thursday. Above, Cooper speaks to the gathered media after his tour of a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Pine Hall Brick plant in Madison on May 27, 2021. Woody Marshall/News & Record via AP

If it becomes law, House Bill 453 would require North Carolina abortion providers to sign a statement confirming that a woman isn't seeking to end her pregnancy to avoid having a child with Down syndrome, or a baby of an unwanted race or gender.

Republican proponents say prenatal tests that confirm the presence of Down syndrome can sometimes be inaccurate, prompting women who wouldn't otherwise do so to terminate their pregnancy. State Senator Joyce Krawiec, a Forsyth County Republican, said the measure prevents discrimination and "modern-day eugenics."

"Children should not have to pass a genetic test to earn the right to be born," Krawiec said.

The conservative North Carolina Values Coalition supports the bill.

Some Democratic lawmakers have warned that the bill would prevent women from having open conversations with their doctors and deny their constitutional right to an abortion. They fear the bill would force women to carry out pregnancies if they tell their doctor that a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome factored into their decision not to go through with the pregnancy, even if it was not the motivating force.

The American Civil Liberties of Union of North Carolina and Planned Parenthood South Atlantic are urging Cooper to reject the proposal.

"Politicians should never have control over private family decisions nor should they force a person to carry a pregnancy to term against their will," said a statement from Susanna Birdsong, North Carolina director of public affairs of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic.

Cooper's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the proposal.

Abortion Bill Protest
North Carolina Democratic Governor Roy Cooper is not expected to sign an anti-abortion bill that passed through the state Senate on Thursday. Above, protesters hold up signs outside the Texas state Capitol on May 29, 2021 in Austin. Sergio Flores/Getty Images

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