RALEIGH, N.C. — The Born-Alive Bill will not become law in North Carolina. Wednesday afternoon, the House failed to override Govenor Roy Cooper's veto. House Speaker Tim Moore said, "This is the most important issue we've voted on since I came to the General Assembly in 2003."
The Senate agreed to the override weeks ago, but House leaders kept delaying votes through May. Republicans need help from several House Democrats to complete the override and enact the measure. Bill sponsors scheduled an eleventh-hour news conference Wednesday to urge Democratic support.
Cooper's veto message said the measure was unnecessary, and laws already protect newborns. Unlike the commonly referred to 'heartbeat bill,' NC Senate Bill 359 abortion legislation actually focuses on what happens to a child after they are born. It would require doctors and nurses to protect and care for a child born during a failed late-term abortion.
RELATED: Gov. Cooper Vetoes 'Born Alive' Bill
They could face a felony with active prison time and monetary penalties if they don't. The bill's supporters have provided written testimony of adults who saw or survived botched abortions. It's unclear, however, how often such situations occur.
The North Carolina Values Coalition said five states have reported at least 25 children were born alive during attempted abortions in 2017. North Carolina keeps no such statistics.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported more than 140 infant deaths involved induced terminations nationwide from 2003 to 2014. It hasn't specified what level of care those newborns received
President Donald Trump has expressed support for "born-alive" bills. The Wisconsin Senate also scheduled a vote on a similar measure Wednesday.