The Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act personifies much of the current political and cultural divisions in the nation. As expected on June 5, Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the Born Alive Act was not overridden by the House. It fell short of the two-thirds majority needed. Democrats and the abortion lobby carried the day on the vote. It remains to be seen how much if any political fallout there will be for Cooper or other lawmakers.
That the plain meaning of the text of the legislation is interpreted so differently by lawmakers reinforces the division. Evidence of that is highlighted even more by all the shouting past one another by opposing sides on social media. Neither side even agrees on what the bill means. Remember, over a decade ago a somewhat similar bill easily passed Congress by a voice vote in the House and by unanimous consent in the U.S. Senate in 2002. Those days seem to be over for any bill related to abortion or even infanticide.
North Carolina is neither an obvious blue state or red state right now. I’ve been making this point for a while, at least to people who believe otherwise. It’s certainly clear on issues like Second Amendment protections. North Carolina is falling behind deep red states on expanding gun rights. Even with Republican super-majorities and a Republican governor, lawmakers did not try to keep pace with red states. Perhaps, in part, because the cultural divisions are starker in North Carolina than a red state even when there is one party rule. Furthermore, the Republican Party as of right now is somewhat divided in the state given the lack of an obvious statewide leader and that a figure like U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis faces a potentially divisive primary for the nomination.
Our elections policy analyst Andy Jackson is in the middle of publishing a two-part article related to our current political makeup and what direction we may be headed. Part 1 is here. Jackson, at the very least, pumps the breaks on the rallying cry from many on the Left that we are turning blue. Although if you are conservative in a fairly urban area it may feel like you are being swallowed up by a rise of progressivism.
Civitas polling has continually shown a lot of split divisions and how much this state is divided at the moment. That will undoubtedly continue for the foreseeable future. The stakes are obviously high in North Carolina given the Electoral College votes up for grabs for the presidency and because it’s a good political barometer for the nation. Both sides desperately want to consolidate their power.
During the debate on the Born Alive Act, one of the Republican lawmakers implored his colleagues that this was an important vote because it sent a message as to what side North Carolina is on when it comes to protecting the lives of babies who survived an abortion. His point was that North Carolina has to send a message today, it should be the right and moral one. Unlike many deep red states on important issues of life though, our divisions keep us from sending that message. Instead, we are stuck in the middle of all the squabbling.