NC Senate, House Reach Agreement on Pro-Life Legislation

Senator Berger Press Shop
3 min readMay 2, 2023

Protects the unborn with limitations on 2nd and 3rd trimester abortion

Provides $160 million for child care access, paid parental leave for teachers and state employees, maternal health, and other pro-family measures

Sen. Krawiec: “We are beginning the process of creating a culture that values life.”

Raleigh, N.C. — Today, Senate and House Republicans announced an agreement on legislation to promote the health and safety of women and children.

The “Care for Women, Children, and Families Act” is comprehensive healthcare legislation that will update the current law allowing abortions well into the second trimester, establish new standards for healthcare facilities that perform abortions, support women entering motherhood with new healthcare reforms, and penalize those who illegally distribute abortion-inducing drugs and break any new healthcare standards.

The bill will make the following changes to North Carolina’s pro-life laws:

  • Limit elective abortions in the second and third trimesters
  • Establish an exception for rape and incest through 20 weeks
  • Establish an exception for fetal life-limiting anomalies through 24 weeks

The law maintains an exception to save the life of the mother.

“The ‘Care for Women, Children, and Families Act’ is reasonable, commonsense legislation that will protect more lives than at any point in the last 50 years,” said Sen. Joyce Krawiec (R-Forsyth). “We are beginning the process of creating a culture that values life, and that’s something we can all be incredibly proud of.”

New healthcare standards included in the bill will require all clinics that perform surgical abortions to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers, and that any abortions performed after the first trimester must be performed in hospitals. Doctors must provide care to babies that survive a botched procedure, and abortions based on a baby’s sex, race, or Down syndrome are prohibited. Current law requiring that abortion-inducing drugs must be administered in person by a doctor is maintained. An extensive informed consent process must be completed in person, 72 hours prior to any surgical or medical abortion.

The bill includes the following financial provisions:

  • $75 million to expand access to child care
  • Over $16 million (including federal matching funds) to reduce infant and maternal mortality
  • $20 million to pay for maternity and paternity leave for teachers and state employees
  • Nearly $59 million (not including federal matching funds) for foster care, kinship care, and children’s homes
  • $7 million to increase access to long-lasting, reversible birth control for underserved, uninsured, or medically indigent patients
  • $3 million to help mothers and fathers complete community college

“Women have been at the center of this debate for so long, and we finally have the opportunity to give women the options they deserve,” said Sen. Lisa Barnes (R-Nash). “The ‘Care for Women, Children, and Families Act’ provides women with care, support, and protections, and welcomes them to motherhood with open arms.”

Several criminal provisions are included to help care for and protect women and children. It will be a Class D felony and a $250,000 fine for any physician that does not care for babies born alive following a botched procedure. Any person or organization caught mailing, supplying, or providing abortion-inducing drugs to a woman is subject to a $5,000 fine per violation. There will be a $5,000 fine per violation for illegally advertising abortion-inducing drugs to women. The criminal punishment for assaults on pregnant women will be increased, the misdemeanor crime of domestic violence will be created, and the 10-year GPS monitoring for certain repeat and violent sexual offenders will be bumped up to lifetime monitoring.

The new limitations included in the “Care for Women, Children, and Families Act” align with the preferences of North Carolinians. Recent polling shows that 57% of North Carolinians support legislation to prohibit abortions after the first trimester with exceptions for rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is in danger. Republican lawmakers worked for months on this legislation, consulting with doctors, healthcare experts, and various stakeholders.

There will be a committee meeting on the bill tomorrow.



Senator Berger Press Shop

Press releases from N.C. Senate Republicans and Senate Leader Phil Berger