GREENSBORO, N.C. — Editor's note: The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, June 24, ending protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years in a decision by its conservative majority. Here's what the timeline for possible changes to North Carolina abortion rights could be.
Legal analysts from CBS News say the Supreme Court should hand down the decision on abortion sometime in late June or July. If the Court strikes down Roe v. Wade, here's what would likely happen next:
14 states have trigger laws on the books to immediately restrict abortion including our neighbors in Tennessee. North Carolina does not have a trigger law.
There is a 1973 statute banning abortion after 20 weeks. A federal court struck it down last year citing Roe v. Wade. In a possible world where Roe v. Wade is no more, there will likely be a new court case to reinstate the 20 week time frame. That could take a month to a year plus to decide.
While the court case plays out the Guttmacher Institute, which researches abortion laws, says North Carolina is not likely to ban abortion. At least not immediately after the Supreme Court decision.
"Political environment is critical," said Elizabeth Nash with the Guttmacher Institute.
North Carolina Governor Democrat Roy Cooper said he would veto any abortion restriction bill making the idea a non-starter for House Speaker Republican Tim Moore for now.
"That doesn't mean the politics might not change," Nash said.
They won't change in North Carolina until at least November when Republicans have a chance at winning a super majority in the General Assembly which could override Cooper's veto.
"It's difficult to win a super majority. And even if the Republicans do win a super majority it would require consensus within the Republican party to pass something," said Elon Political Science professor Jason Husser.
Husser thinks it could even be 2025 before big changes are really possible - when Governor Cooper's term ends. Husser says it would probably take putting a Republican in the governor's mansion... to ban abortion in North Carolina.
"The 2024 gubernatorial cycle will be far more competitive if Roe v. Wade is overturned. There is a great deal of uncertainly in North Carolina over the next year, the next two years," Husser said.