Social conservatives 'outraged' after Gov. Cooper vetoes 'Born Alive' abortion bill

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Before heading to Durham to tour the damage from last week's explosion, Governor Cooper was using his veto pen in Raleigh to reject Senate Bill 359. Republicans called it the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.

"Roy Cooper didn't just veto a bill, he vetoed babies," said Tami Fitzgerald, whose social conservative action group, Values NC, lobbied hard for the bill, which addressed a doctor's responsibilities if a later-term abortion results if an infant is born alive.

The bill required health care providers to grant those newborns the same protections as other patients or face felony prison time and stiff fines.

"If a baby who's born as a result of an abortion is actually killed by the abortionist or someone in the room or is allowed to die, there should be some tough penalties for that," Fitzgerald said.

Governor Cooper rejected that argument. In a statement, the governor wrote, "Laws already protect newborns babies and this bill is an unnecessary interference between doctors and their patients."

"We appreciate that Governor Cooper did take this stand," said Tara Romano, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice NC.

Romano, and other abortion-rights groups, blasted the bill as an attack on a woman's constitutionally-protected right to an abortion by putting more limits on abortion access.

"We just feel like what this bill did is really just politicize abortion and politicize these complex medical decisions that are made around later-abortions," Romano said. "And that this was just a way of trying to create a narrative about something that doesn't exist."

Bill supporters like Fitzgerald provided written testimony of adults who saw or survived botched abortions. What is unclear is how often doctors have neglected these live infants.

Governor Cooper's veto was his first since Democrats won enough seats in the legislature to eliminate Republican's veto-proof majority.
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