A federal court ruled on Wednesday that North Carolina may continue to enforce its ban on abortions beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy.
An order against the statute had been in effect since 2019, but it was revoked by Judge William Osteen of the federal district court in June due to a judgment by the United States Supreme Court in the case Dobbs v. Jackson that returned the subject of abortion to the jurisdiction of the states. This is the same judge, Osteen, who issued the preliminary injunction against those responsible for enforcing the statute.
He did write that “under Dobbs, there is no constitutionally protected right to an abortion prior to viability, thereby trying to deprive the injunction of every legitimate basis on which to enforce the challenged Carolina laws regulating abortion.” This is because Dobbs ruled that there is no constitutional right to an abortion prior to viability.
He added that “contrary to the arguments presented by the parties, retaining an injunction in place erroneously magnifies misunderstanding because to do so is deceptive in terms of the effect of Dobbs.”
In spite of the decision made by the Supreme Court, the Democratic Governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper, has pledged to assist women in obtaining abortions and signed an executive order following Roe v. Wade to that effect.
“Abortion after 20 weeks in pregnancy is extremely uncommon and happens because of a severe health emergency or diagnosis,” said Cooper on Wednesday. “Abortion after 20 weeks in pregnancy is extremely rare.” “It is clearly immoral to deny women in dire and hazardous situations the essential medical care, even if it is rare, and we must not let legislators distort the truth about the actual world ramifications of this damaging rule.”
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