Federal court strikes down North Carolina law banning abortion after 20 weeks

A federal district court struck down a longstanding North Carolina law that banned abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, except in the case of a medical emergency, according to the ACLU.

The decision came down Monday.

"State law cannot impose an outright ban that prevents a 'woman (from) choos(ing) to have an abortion before viability,'" U.S. District Judge William L. Osteen, Jr. said in his opinion.

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The judge also noted that his ruling "accords universally with those of other federal courts that have considered the constitutionality of twenty-week bans and similar week- or event-specific abortion bans."

Judge Osteen also referenced "the Supreme Court's clear pronouncements on the pre-viability right to choose to have an abortion" as established over four decades go in Roe v. Wade.

The law was amended in 2016 to further restrict the exception to health emergencies.

The court's decision will take effect in 60 days.

The original lawsuit was filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood.