'Born alive' abortion bill override vote planned Tuesday

Posted April 29, 2019 6:59 p.m. EDT
Updated April 29, 2019 7:20 p.m. EDT

— The state Senate will attempt to override Gov. Roy Cooper's abortion bill veto Tuesday evening.

The legislation would make it a felony for doctors to fail to perform life-saving measures on a baby born alive after a botched abortion and create a new duty to report these doctors for nurses and other staff.

The plan is to hold the override vote about 5:45 p.m., according to Senate Republican leadership.

The vote will be close. The bill passed the state Senate 28-19, just below the threshold needed to overturn Cooper's veto.

It takes three-fifths support to override a veto, but it's three-fifths of all members present and voting, so the exact number depends on how many of the chamber's 50 senators show up. If all 50 participate, the magic number is 30.

One of the two Democrats who voted with Republicans on the bill, Sen. Ben Clark, D-Hoke, told The Fayetteville Observer he'll back the governor's veto. Three Republicans were absent when the bill initially passed the Senate.

Assuming all three vote to override and everyone else attends and votes as expected, the whole thing could come down to Sen. Don Davis, D-Pitt.

"We'll see," Davis said Monday evening when asked how he plans to vote.

If the Senate does override the veto, the scene shifts to the House, where members voted 65-46 in favor of the bill.

Four Democrats voted in favor of that, five Democrats were absent and four Republicans were either absent or didn't vote on the bill. If all 120 members were present in the House for an override vote, Republicans would have to get their full caucus to vote, keep the four Democrats that supported it the first time and pull another three Democrats to their side to hit the magic number of 72.