How one North Carolina lawmaker’s defection from the Democratic Party upended abortion protections

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina state Rep. Tricia Cotham’s recent switch from the Democratic Party to the GOP opened the door for Republicans to enact new abortion restrictions over Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s opposition. A veto override had seemed just out of reach for Republicans just six week before they successfully overrode Cooper’s veto of a 12-week abortion limit on Tuesday. Republicans now expect her switch could propel some GOP-backed education policies and transgender restrictions across the finish. Cooper singled out Cotham and three other Republicans in a last-minute push to convince one to block the bill. But the outcome has some Democrats wondering whether his aggressive strategy backfired.