During a visit to Craven County Friday, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said he will not veto the House abortion bill if it gets to his desk.
Shortly after noon Friday, Gov. McCrory arrived at Captain Ratty's Seafood and Steakhouse, located at 202 Middle St. in New Bern, for a quick lunch. He then stopped by The Pepsi Store. The visit is part of his "Main Street Tours" across the state.
Afterwards, Gov. McCrory sat down for a one-on-one interview with NewsChannel 12's Wes Goforth. The governor said he will not veto the bill passed in the N.C. House Thursday that would add new regulations to abortions in the state.
"I've made a commitment. If the most recent House bill arrives at my desk, I'll sign it. If the older Senate bill arrives at my desk, I will veto it," McCrory told NewsChannel 12. "The first bill that was passed had too many regulations, which would deny access or reduce access."
Under the House bill, standards would be increased for North Carolina abortion clinics. Doctors would be required to remain present for an entire surgical abortion. The physician must also be present when a woman takes the first dose for a chemically-induced abortion.
In addition, the House measure would prohibit gender-selective abortions and curb abortion insurance coverage.
The bill will be returning to the State Senate for final approval, but there is no word on when that will take place.
Another concern of Gov. McCrory is North Carolina's medicaid system, which he calls the state's worst financial problem. McCrory said he fears the federal government will transfer the responsibility for running the Affordable Care Act to the states.
"The fact of the matter is, the existing medicaid system is broken. I don't believe you should expand the existing system that is broken. You ought to fix the system that you have," McCrory told NewsChannel 12.
There were some protestors lining the streets during Gov. McCrory's visit to New Bern Friday, including Ed Dzioba, a retired Vietnam veteran from Fairfield Harbour.
"Live up to your promises you made to us in North Carolina. Vote no on this abortion bill. Live up to your promises about education. Take unemployment, give us back our unemployment," Dzioba said.
The last time Gov. McCrory visited New Bern was in late January, when he spoke at the Tryon Palace about his plans for the state.
McCrory is the 74th governor of North Carolina. The former Charlotte mayor became the state's first Republican governor in 20 years when he took office in January.