RALEIGH -- On Wednesday, North Carolina lawmakers failed to override Governor Roy Cooper's veto of the "born-alive" bill.
It would require doctors and nurses to care for babies born alive during a failed late-term abortion or face big penalties.
"There is absolutely no need in this world for politicians to criminalize complex medical decisions that are best made by patients and that validate physicians that care for them," said Rep. Deb Butler.
House Speaker Tim Moore said he had an inclination this might happen. He said he held off putting the legislation to the floor because he knew he didn't have the votes.
"We don't know how often it happens, and this bill makes sure that there'll be reporting and it makes it iron clad clear that if this baby is born, this baby has to be taken care of," said Moore.
In April, Cooper vetoed the bill saying, "Laws already protect newborn babies and this bill is an unnecessary interference between doctors and their patients," Cooper said in a statement. "This needless legislation would criminalize doctors and other healthcare providers for a practice that simply does not exist."
The Senate agreed to the override weeks ago, but House leaders kept delaying votes through May.