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Appeals Judges Skeptical About Reinstating NC Abortion Ban

Federal judges have expressed skepticism about reinstating North Carolina’s ban on abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday heard oral arguments from attorneys for abortion providers who sued to challenge the ban and local prosecutors and state officials who are trying to restore it. The law contains an exception for medical emergencies. A trial judge declared the ban unconstitutional in 2019. The U.S. Supreme Court has protected abortion as a constitutional right until a fetus develops enough to live outside the womb, generally between 24 and 28 weeks.