“Abortion Sanctuary” North Carolina bans abortions after 20 weeks

FILE - Thousands of protesters march around the Arizona Capitol after the Supreme Court ruled in Phoenix on June 24, 2022 to overturn the landmark Roe v. pick up calf. The concept of personality underlying anti-abortion laws in some states regards fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses as human beings with the same rights as those already born. Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas and Missouri all have personal statutes. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, file)

Campaigners say the ban will hurt those who need help in the later stages of pregnancy (Image: AP)

Abortions after 20 weeks are no longer legal in the US state of North Carolina, one of the last havens in the South for people who want to terminate their pregnancy.

The state, whose House and Senate have been controlled by Republicans since 2011, passed legislation in 2019 banning such procedures.

But a federal judge halted enforcement of the law, declaring it unconstitutional on the basis of the US Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v Wade decision, which had enshrined abortion rights in the US since 1973.

With Roe v Wade overturned in June, District Judge William Osteen has ruled that his judgment has no legal basis, allowing the 2019 ban to be enforced.

Prior to the decision, abortions were legal in North Carolina until fetal viability — the medically accepted point at which a fetus can survive outside the womb with good medical care — which is between 24 and 28 weeks.

Abortions in the last 20 weeks are rare, accounting for about 1% of abortions in the US.

North Carolina’s new deadline is also roughly on par with many countries that have stronger abortion laws, such as Canada. B. 23 weeks and 6 days in England, Scotland and Wales and 14 weeks in France.

But activists say many are still being unfairly denied abortions after being forced to seek the procedure later in their pregnancy.

FILE - Hundreds of protesters gather and march against the US Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022 in downtown Raleigh, NC. Abortions in North Carolina are no longer legal after 20 weeks of pregnancy, a federal court judge ruled Wednesday, August 17, 2022 that protections in one of the few remaining safe havens for reproductive freedom in the South have been undermined. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP, file)

North Carolina saw large protests over the Roe v Wade coup (Image: AP)

Alison Kiser, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic, said: “The two main reasons people need abortion treatment later in pregnancy are because they have received new medical information or, even more so, now that they are facing obstacles that are delaying their treatment.” to have.

“It’s still incredibly important that people have access to this care.”

It’s also believed that North Carolina’s medical system is treating a disproportionate number of abortion seekers in the later stages of pregnancy as women flee neighboring states with much stricter rules.

Six-week abortions are now illegal in South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia.

In his Wednesday order, Judge Osteen said, “There is now no constitutional right to an early abortion.”

He added: “Neither this court, nor the public, nor attorneys or providers have the right to ignore the rule of law established by the Supreme Court.”

Tami Fitzgerald, the leader of a leading anti-abortion group in the state, said the move was “just the beginning” and activists were “working hard” to push for tougher restrictions.

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Justin Scacco

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