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Federal Judge Strikes Down North Carolina's 20-Week Abortion Ban

In a victory for abortion-rights activists, U.S. District Judge William Osteen declared such bans on abortions after 20 weeks unconstitutional.

Some incredibly welcome news on the abortion-rights front has come our way via a North Carolina federal judge. District Court Judge William Osteen has stuck down North Carolina's decades-old ban on abortion after 20 weeks. The ban went into effect in 1973, and will be lifted in 60 days.

According to Reuters, the ruling means an a woman can legally get an abortion "at any point before the fetus is viable, or able to potentially live outside the womb, as determined by a doctor." Imagine that! A woman and her doctor determining her health care!

Citing U.S. Supreme Court precedent, Osteen wrote “a state is never allowed to prohibit any swath of pre-viability abortions outright, no matter how strenuously it may believe that such a ban is in the best interests of its citizens or how minimal it may find the burden to women seeking an abortion.”

No matter "how minimal [the state] may find the burden to women seeking an abortion." That's the thing that is so galling about anti-choicers. They presume to know what kind of burden someone else's pregnancy will have on that other person. A person they don't even know. They don't know their medical history. Their psychological state. Their emotional background. The conditions under which the woman became pregnant. And they don't care.

I don't know about you, but I sure needed to hear some good news after the drek of the last 5 days. Of course, the anti-choicers can appeal, which is exactly the scenario for which Kavanaugh and Gorsuch were installed. One can just imagine them twirling their evil-villain mustaches, lying in wait. In the meantime, Judge Osteen's is a strong ruling written with exactly the right emphasis exactly where it belongs. On the pregnant woman and her individual situation, and her capacity to judge for herself what is best for her health.

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