A bill to ban abortion after 12 weeks in North Carolina will be filed after the Republican supermajority struck a backroom deal, GOP leaders in the General Assembly announced Tuesday.

"The bill that’s been developed is a common-sense, reasonable approach to restricting second- and third-trimester abortions," Senate Leader Phil Berger said at a news conference announcing the deal Tuesday evening.

The bill will have exceptions for rape, incest, life of the mother and "life-limiting anomalies," said Sen. Joyce Krawiec.

Many had expected North Carolina lawmakers to introduce legislation to further restrict abortion after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year. That landmark ruling guaranteed the right to abortion nationwide. The Supreme Court instead left abortion rights up to state legislatures.

Republicans now have supermajorities in both chambers after a House Democrat from Mecklenburg County switched parties earlier this year. Gov. Roy Cooper has vowed to veto any new abortion restrictions. Republicans will have to keep their caucus together in the House and Senate to override the governor's veto.

Cooper responded quickly to the proposal on social media: "This proposal erodes even further the freedom of women and their doctors to make deeply personal health care decisions. I along with most North Carolinians are alarmed by the overreach of Republican politicians into people’s personal lives and I strongly oppose it."


Abortion in North Carolina is currently legal until 20 weeks of pregnancy. North Carolina has become a destination for people seeking abortions from surrounding states that have more restrictive laws or fewer abortion providers.

Under the new GOP proposal, Krawiec said abortion in cases of rape or incest would be allowed up to 20 weeks. The report of rape or incest would be between the doctor and patient. The proposal for North Carolina does not require a police report like in some other states.

For fetuses with "life-limiting" genetic abnormalities, abortion would be allowed up to 24 weeks. There is no limit in the bill on abortion to save the life of the mother, Krawiec said.