A North Carolina law that bans abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy took effect Saturday after a judge’s ruling on Friday allowed most of the law to take effect.
“Today’s ruling is a crucial win for the unborn and their mothers,” Caitlin Connors, southern regional director for the group SBA Pro-Life America, said, according to WRAL-TV.
“Passed with a supermajority of the legislature’s support, SB 20 reflects the will of the people of North Carolina.
We celebrate that babies will be protected at 12 weeks gestation and the state’s record $160 million in funding for parental leave, material support, and many other resources will help women and children in North Carolina,” Connors said.
— Steven Ertelt (@StevenErtelt) July 1, 2023
Planned Parenthood had sued to block the law from taking effect, citing ambiguous parts of the law.
On Friday, U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, blocked one provision of the law regarding paperwork doctors needed to produce. She otherwise rejected the request for a temporary restraining order, which would have blocked the law while court challenges play themselves out.
“The General Assembly provided the clarity physicians asked for and now Senate Bill 20, including the $160 million in funding for child care access, paid parental leave for state employees, maternal health, and other pro-family measures, will largely go into effect,” Lauren Horsch, a spokeswoman for Senate leader Phil Berger, said.
She added: “It’s unfortunate that Planned Parenthood — aided by Attorney General [Josh] Stein — hasn’t given up its crusade to save its business model.”
In her ruling, Eagles said issues with wording were largely resolved in legislation developed by lawmakers and signed this week by Gov. Roy Cooper, according to the Charlotte Observer.
Among the issues solved was that the law would not be construed to punish anyone who helps a woman obtain a legal abortion in another state.
With that understanding, “the ambiguities and First Amendment issues raised by the plaintiffs are unlikely to rise to an unconstitutional level and a temporary restraining order is not necessary at this stage,” Eagles wrote in her ruling.
Elsewhere she wrote that changes in the law “are likely to moot the plaintiffs’ vagueness challenges to the provisions in the original Act directed to these matters.”
“Because the plaintiffs are no longer likely to be successful on the claims based on the original language of the Act, the motion for a temporary restraining order as to these provisions will be denied,” she wrote.
18 States now have pro-life laws protecting babies from abortions:
— LifeNews.com (@LifeNewsHQ) June 30, 2023
Prior to the new law’s adoption, North Carolina banned most abortions after 20 weeks, according to the Associated Press.
Exceptions to the 12-week ban include one of 20 weeks for cases of rape and incest and of 24 weeks for “life-limiting” fetal anomalies. The law also has an exception for medical emergencies.