Denton, NC -- New abortion restrictions became North Carolina law Thursday when the Senate voted to override Governor Bev Perdue's veto. The House approved the override earlier this week.
Among the conditions under the Woman's Right To Know Act, women in North Carolina who want an abortion must wait 24 hours to have the abortion, must get counseling about alternatives, and doctors have to perform an ultrasound and play the fetal heartbeat.
When the bill first passed the Senate last month, Sen. Stan Bingham from Davidson County was the only Republican to vote against it.
When it came time for the Senate to vote Thursday, Bingham was not there. His vote against the bill Thursday could have stopped the veto override.
"It was my vote that was do or die," Bingham told WFMY News 2 at his Denton office Thursday night. "By me not being there, the bill passed."
Bingham explained his decision. He said he met with fellow Republicans Thursday morning and the Republican caucus took a position to vote for the bill.
"They knew that I had voted against it. I was the only senator in the caucus that voted against this bill, so I was given an opportunity to either walk or abstain from voting or vote for the bill," Bingham said. "I couldn't vote for this bill and so I left."
When asked why he walked away rather than stay and vote against the bill, Bingham said, "That's because the caucus didn't want me to do that."
"This is actually the first time I have ever done this," he said.
He admitted he had the choice to participate and vote if he wanted to and chose not to.
"You weigh all of the aspects of the bill and then you do what you think is best and in this case I couldn't let my colleagues down," he said.
"If I had went into the chamber, I would have had to vote with the caucus. I mean I just, I was given two options. It's not like an ultimatum, but 29 senators saying, 'Stan would you please either vote with the caucus or walk?'"
Bingham said this law is something he can't support because he doesn't think it's an area in which government should be involved.