N.C. lawmaker swaps parties for stricter abortion laws

North Carolina State House member Tricia Cotham, a Democrat, announced her switch to the GOP, giving Republicans a veto-proof majority in the state and potentially paving the way for major legislative changes.

Cotham comes from a legacy of Democrats, with her mother and father both having prominent roles in the Democratic Party

Cotham had previously served in the N.C. House of Representatives from 2007 to 2016, before returning in January.

While her stance on several issues has been consistent with the Democratic Party, she has voted with the GOP on some recent bills, including one requiring sheriffs to cooperate with ICE officials.

Cotham's decision to switch parties is significant because it gives the GOP a precise majority of 72 seats in the House, enough for a veto-proof majority.

Republicans already have the majority in the Senate, allowing them to enact policies over the opposition of Democratic Governor Roy Cooper.

This could potentially lead to new legislation on immigration, voting, and abortion rights that Republicans may pursue.

Cotham's absence during a recent vote on repealing pistol permits allowed the GOP to push the change through, despite Cooper's veto, which has drawn criticism from constituents and colleagues.

Progressive groups in North Carolina have expressed outrage and called for Cotham's resignation, alleging that she misrepresented herself to her constituents.

Cotham's decision to switch parties could have significant implications for the nationwide trend of increasing abortion restrictions.