RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina senators approved a bill on Thursday to bar women from getting abortions on the basis of race, sex or a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.
With the Senate’s party-line vote, the prohibition Republicans are seeking now heads to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who is likely to veto it, having rejected previous anti-abortion restrictions.
Abortion rights groups say the GOP-led bill, which was universally opposed by Senate Democrats and supported by only six Democratic House lawmakers, would prevent women from having open conversations with their doctors and deny their constitutional right to an abortion.
Abortions on the basis of sex selection are already prohibited in North Carolina. House Bill 453, approved in the Senate 27-20, would expand and strengthen the existing law by requiring physicians to report, with a signed confirmation, that an abortion was not desired due to sex, race or the likelihood of being born with Down syndrome.
A demonstrator at a press conference and protest