RALEIGH, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed a bill that would require doctors and nurses to care for babies born alive during a failed late-term abortion.

“Laws already protect newborn babies and this bill is an unnecessary interference between doctors and their patients. This needless legislation would criminalize doctors and other healthcare providers for a practice that simply does not exist.”

Senate Bill 359 would bring prison time and big fines for medical practitioners who don’t give children born during a botched abortion the same protections as any other newborn. 

The North Carolina Values Coalition said five states have reported at least 25 children were born alive during attempted abortions in 2017. North Carolina keeps no such statistics.

The state House passed the bill Tuesday, a day after the Senate did so. 

Democratic Rep. Susan Fisher of Buncombe County criticized Republicans in the GOP-controlled legislature for pushing it through, saying the aim appears to be to intimidate health care providers from performing legally allowed abortions.

This story was reported on from Charlotte, N.C. The Associated Press contributed to this report.