North Carolina Legislative Leaders File Motion to Intervene in Abortion Lawsuit
On February 27, 2023, a motion was filed in support of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, Durham Division, to intervene in a lawsuit regarding abortion law in North Carolina. The motion was filed by the state’s top lawmakers, citing that North Carolina Attorney General Joshua Stein refuses to defend the challenged laws. The memo argued that the Legislative Leaders should be allowed to intervene in the lawsuit to offer a vigorous defense of North Carolina’s laws providing basic protections for women undergoing the serious and life-altering procedure of abortion.
The motion argued that since Attorney General Stein has publicly opposed North Carolina’s laws regulating abortion, the Legislative Leaders’ intervention was even more important. Additionally, doctors are being told by their hospital lawyers that the patient needs to be closer to death to be able to receive an abortion, according to House Representative Shelly Pettigrew.
Legislation in force prohibits abortion after 20 weeks gestation, with only a few exceptions for medical urgency. House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) has been leading discussions between the House and Senate to see if they can come to an agreement on a single bill to unite behind that both chambers could pass. Moore personally supports a heartbeat bill, but wants to pass something that can be enacted over an expected veto by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.
It is clear that North Carolina’s top lawmakers must take action to defend North Carolina’s duly enacted laws and protect the rights of women in the state. It remains to be seen what the outcome of the motion to intervene will be, and what kind of legislation will be passed.
0. “Bryant v. Stein | ADFMedia.org” ADF Media, 22 Feb. 2023, https://adfmedia.org/case/bryant-v-stein
1. “Doctors Urge Lawmakers Not to Limit Abortion Further” INDY Week, 26 Feb. 2023, https://indyweek.com/news/northcarolina/doctors-urge-lawmakers-not-to-limit-abortion-further/
2. “Reproductive rights advocates tell legislators to reject more abortion restrictions | The Pulse” The Progressive Pulse, 21 Feb. 2023, https://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2023/02/21/reproductive-rights-advocates-tell-legislators-to-reject-more-abortion-restrictions