• NC 20-week abortion limit formally struck down


    RALEIGH, N.C. - A federal judge has formally issued his decision striking down North Carolina's ban on abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, except in a medical emergency.

    U.S. District Judge William Osteen signed his judgment dated Friday - 60 days after issuing a memorandum explaining why he declared the law unconstitutional. He wrote in March the 20-week limit prohibited some abortions before a fetus could live outside the womb. The judgment means some women could now obtain abortions later but prior to viability.

    [RELATED COVERAGE: NC lawmakers move to override governor's veto of 'born-alive' abortion legislation]

    Osteen wrote the 60-day delay was designed in part to give legislators time to replace the law. That hasn't occurred.

    The state now has 30 days to appeal the ruling. The state Department of Justice says it's reviewing the case and will confer with legislative leaders before deciding.

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