Crawford explains switch on abortion

Posted July 26, 2011 6:03 p.m. EDT

The vote to override Gov. Bev Perdue's veto of H854, the abortion restrictions bill, came down to one person: Rep. Jim Crawford, D-Granville. 

When the bill passed the House last month, it had 71 votes: all 68 Republicans, plus conservative eastern Democrats Bill Brisson, Tim Spear, and Dewey Hill. The override vote, however, required 72 votes.

Crawford, who had voted against the measure last month, decided Monday night to change his position and become vote number 72. 

After today's vote, he explained, "I’ve always voted pro-life. And I tried to stick with my crowd with the other vote because I knew it was going to pass. But when it comes down to informing people and that kind of issue, I just felt like it was important to let people know the consequences of abortion."

Crawford said he talked to Perdue about his vote several times. “She wasn’t happy.”