(The Center Square) – Stopping enactment Sunday of new women’s health law, a federal judge on Saturday issued a ruling to stop two provisions of a North Carolina abortion law adopted this session.
The ban on abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy, with limited exceptions, was not the focus of the decision and remains in place awaiting the outcome of a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and a physician. The state’s previous law stopped abortions after 20 weeks.
Decisions on abortion were returned to state legislatures with the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court overturn of Roe v. Wade. Republicans have majorities in each chamber of the state’s General Assembly and crafted legislation this session which got one of Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes and was subsequently overridden and put into law.
The ruling for U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles means:
• Abortion clinics, not just hospitals, can be the site to perform abortions after 12 weeks. This involves the exception to the new law; examples are rape and incest.
• Doctors prescribing a medication abortion do not have to document existence of pregnancy within the uterus. This is an extension of her ruling in June.