Fourteen states in the country either fully ban abortion or ban it after six weeks of pregnancy. North Carolina is not one of them – for now.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and a U.S. District Court reinstated a ban on abortions after 20 weeks in North Carolina, Republican state legislators have not introduced any bills that would further restrict abortion access.
There have not been any heartbeat bills introduced since, either. These heartbeat bills prohibit abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy.
However, North Carolinians' access to abortion could become more restricted if anti-abortion legislators are elected to the state's General Assembly in the upcoming midterm elections.
Republican legislators need three seats in the state House of Representatives and two seats in the state Senate to gain a supermajority in each chamber. A supermajority in both chambers would allow them to overrule Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's veto.
“There's a very real threat that if Republicans gain a supermajority in both houses that they will be able to override the governor's veto on abortion or on legislation that would further restrict — if not ban — abortion, so this is a pretty high-stakes election,” N.C. Rep. Allen Buansi (D-Orange) said.
Jillian Riley, N.C. director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, said some anti-abortion legislators in the General Assembly have already said they plan to introduce a ban on abortion this winter.
However, Rebecca Kreitzer, an associate professor of public policy at UNC, said that public opinion is wary of restrictive policies with no exceptions.
Unlike some neighboring states, Kreitzer said the General Assembly did not convene in a special session to introduce more restrictive abortion laws before Election Day in November.