May 2, 2023
Contact: Laura Macklem


The North Carolina General Assembly today brought forth a much-anticipated pro-life measure to save more unborn lives. After months of negotiation, legislators agreed on a bill to move the 20-week abortion limit back to 12 weeks, and greatly restrict chemical abortions.

“NC Values believes life begins at conception, and that life is a human right. Although the General Assembly opted to limit abortion at 12 weeks, we are grateful more babies will be protected by moving the limit from 20 weeks back to 12 weeks,” said NC Values Executive Director Tami Fitzgerald. “In addition, there are tremendous provisions in the bill that protect the health and safety of women and preventing the brutal, painful practice of late-term abortion. It would also protect babies who are born alive as the result of a botched abortion. The pro-life community cares about both women and their precious babies.”

A January 2023 poll conducted by NC Values Coalition, NC Faith & Freedom Coalition, and Susan B. Anthony List showed 62% of North Carolina voters support laws limiting abortions to the first trimester of pregnancy, not including instances of rape, incest and life of the mother.

Appropriations were included in the legislation to support women, with increased funding for pregnancy care through Medicaid and for maternity and paternity leave for teachers and state employees. The bill would also increase punishments for an assault on a pregnant woman and would create misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. The childcare subsidy market rates would be raised to the 75th percentile, and would provide increased money for the State Maternity Home Fund. The NC Community College System “finish line” grants for students with financial hardships would also be increased to help new mothers finish their education.

“We want pregnant women who find themselves worried about childcare, prenatal care, and their health and safety to see there are safety nets around them, and abortion is not the answer,” said Fitzgerald. “Seventy-six percent of abortion determined women say they would choose life if their circumstances were different, and this bill greatly improves circumstances for women who experience an unplanned pregnancy.”

Funding for foster care and adoption would also be increased, and the “Safe Surrender” law would be updated to include health care providers, first responders, and social workers as persons to whom an infant could be surrendered. The current timeline to surrender a child would extend from 7 to 30 days.

The legislation would also ban partial birth abortion and would require physicians attending surgical abortions to administer care for babies who survive botched abortions. Any physician refusing to treat an abortion survivor would be subject to a Class D felony and fined $250,000. Abortions based on eugenics would also be banned.

Chemical abortions are dangerous and have a complication rate four times that of surgical abortions. The bill includes provisions to stop the targeting of pregnant mothers with mail-order abortions. In North Carolina, a pregnant woman must be examined by a doctor before being prescribed chemical abortion pills, so they can determine the baby’s gestational age, if the pregnancy is ectopic, and the overall health of the mother. Providing abortion drugs without an examination or advertising them directly to women would lead to a $5,000 fine per violation, according to the bill.

Other provisions include that:

  • abortion clinics must meet the same health standards of other ambulatory surgical facilities.
  • pregnant women would have the right to see a real-time image of their unborn children before an abortion.
  • parents who were not informed their minor child was given an abortion could file suit against the abortionist.
  • abortions past 12 weeks must be done in a hospital.
  • abortion would be allowed through 20 weeks for rape and incest, and a life-limiting fetal anomaly would be extended to 24 weeks.

“NC Values does not support abortion for any reason, except for the life of the mother, which is very rare, and in all circumstances both the lives of mother and child should be considered,” said Fitzgerald. “This bill has provisions that will save thousands of unborn lives, and we will continue to educate the public, elect pro-life legislators, and push even further for legislation that protects every unborn life.”


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