(Raleigh) Abortion is now considered illegal after 20e week of pregnancy in North Carolina, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. The decision destroys women’s rights in one of America’s southern states, which until now has been a haven for reproductive freedom.
Posted at 6:37 pm yesterday.
In his ruling, Justice William Osteen concludes that the Supreme Court’s recent ruling invalidated the landmark decision. Roe v. WadeAbolishing any legal basis supporting his own decision in 2019, he imposed a ban on the use of anti-abortion legislation dating back to 1973. Judge Osteen’s change was against the recommendations of all parties involved. In the 2019 ruling, doctors, lawyers and including the attorney general’s office filed briefs earlier this month seeking to vacate the injunction.
Republican George W. Justice Osteen, a Bush appointee, wrote, “Neither this Court, nor the public, nor lawyers, nor doctors have the right to ignore the rule of law established by the Supreme Court.”
Unable to pass new abortion-ban legislation that would have survived Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto, Republican leaders in the General Assembly asked Judge Osteen to withdraw his veto and restore law enforcement. The gesture follows the refusal of the state’s attorney general, a Democrat, to submit a request to limit abortion rights to a judge.
Justice Osteen’s ruling adds fuel to a midterm election already heated by a Supreme Court decision that has put state politics in the spotlight. In November, North Carolina’s Republicans will try to win the five seats needed for a supermajority to override the Democratic governor’s veto.
Elected Republicans have made no secret that a successful campaign could open the door to even tougher laws to prevent termination of pregnancy.
House Speaker Tim Moore told reporters on July 26 that he wants to introduce a bill in the Legislature that would ban abortions as soon as an ultrasound detects a fetal heartbeat. Typically, a heartbeat can be detected in the sixth week, before many women even know they are pregnant.
Governor Roy Cooper and Democrats have already made abortion rights a major campaign issue. Through an executive order signed on July 6, Mr. Cooper defended patients traveling to another state for abortions against any extradition procedure. All state agencies in North Carolina were prohibited from cooperating with other states in prosecuting women who travel for abortions.
In the southern United States, women from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee are considered safe havens, where abortion is prohibited from the sixth week of pregnancy.
Before Judge Osteen lifted the injunction, abortion was legal in North Carolina until abortion was possible, which was somewhere between 24e and 28e week of pregnancy Only medical emergencies allow exceptions.