(RepublicanInformer.com)- Anti-abortion advocates won a victory last week when a federal judge ruled that abortions in North Carolina aren’t legal after a woman is 20 weeks pregnant.
The ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy was re-instated last week by William Osteen, the federal judge in the case. The rule wasn’t enforced until the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision earlier this summer.
Now, though, the ruling that was originally made in 2019 is back in place.
The ban provides exceptions to the timeline only based on medical emergencies that are deemed urgent.
All of the parties that were named in the original case in 2019 had filed briefs recently that requested Osteen keep the injunction in place. But, he defied those briefs in making his decision.
As he wrote in his ruling:
“Neither this court, nor the public, nor counsel, nor providers have the right to ignore the rule of law as determined by the Supreme Court.”
Republican leaders in the North Carolina General Assembly tried to pass stricter abortion bans through the legislative process in the state. However, they were unable to get anything passed that wouldn’t be vetoed by the state’s Democratic Governor Roy Cooper.
In response to that, they decided to try to get the state’s attorney general, Josh Stein, to bring the 2019 ban back before a judge. When the AG refused, the Republicans filed a “friend-of-the-court brief” to do so on their own. And they succeeded in doing so.
As Tim Moore, the House Speaker, said following Osteen’s ruling:
“I am encouraged that, although our attorney general has failed to do his duty, today we have a ruling that upholds the law.”
For now, Republicans are going to have to settle for the reinstatement of the 20-week ban on abortions in the state. However, they have a chance in this year’s midterm elections to gain enough seats in the General Assembly that they could basically do whatever they want.
If they are able to gain five more seats in the General Assembly, they would attain a supermajority, which would allow the GOP to override any veto that Cooper would put on a law they passed. This could allow Republicans to pass even stricter regulations on abortion, much like some of their neighboring states in the South have already done.
Moore has already said that he would like to see the General Assembly pass a restriction on abortions that would ban the procedure as soon as an ultrasound is able to detect cardiac activity in a fetus. This usually happens roughly six weeks after fertilization occurs.
Liberals say that this is too soon, as many women don’t even know if they’re pregnant by that time.
In the meantime, Democrats are trying to provide as many protections as possible to women who want an abortion. In early July, Cooper signed an executive order that would shield patients coming from out of state to get an abortion from being extradited by their home states.
The executive order also prohibits any North Carolina agency from helping another states’ prosecution of someone who travels to North Carolina to get an abortion.