RALEIGH, NC (AP) - North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue has signed a bill into law that creates separate criminal counts for causing the death or seriously injuring a fetus inside the mother's womb at any stage of development.
Perdue's office said she signed the bill into law late Friday.
Perdue said in a prepared statement she supports abortion rights but also supports punishing anyone who would attack or kill a pregnant woman. The law won't apply to legal abortions but does give legal status to fetuses that can't survive outside the womb.
The law takes effect December 1 and creates new counts of murder, manslaughter and assault and battery for what it calls unborn children.
The governor had until Sunday to sign the bill, veto it or let it become law without her signature.