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Judge reinstates North Carolina’s 20-week abortion ban

Gavel, as found in a courtroom.
John B. Carnett
/
Popular Science via Getty Images

A federal judge has ruled that abortions are no longer legal after 20 weeks of pregnancy in North Carolina. U.S. District Judge William Osteen reinstated the abortion ban Wednesday after he said the June U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade erased the legal foundation for his 2019 ruling that placed an injunction on the 1973 state law. The ruling erodes protections in one of the South’s few remaining safe havens for reproductive freedom. His decision defies the recommendations of all named parties in the 2019 case, including doctors, district attorneys and the attorney general’s office, who earlier this week filed briefs requesting he let the injunction stand.