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Women’s health groups, two branches of the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood of the South Atlantic, and the Center for Reproductive Rights have filed a lawsuit against North Carolina’s forced-birther law that bars abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Similar laws that have been passed in other states are unconstitutional since they violate the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling, which marked fetal viability outside the womb as the dividing line between a woman’s right to choose and the state’s interest in “potential life.” Viability is widely viewed as 23-24 weeks.
The only exceptions in the North Carolina 20-week ban are when a woman’s condition threatens an immediate risk of death or major damage to health. Women who learn the fetus will not survive after birth would be forced to continue their pregnancies to term:
“Health care should be based on a woman’s individual circumstances, not dictated by politicians fixated on interfering in her personal, private decisions,” said Genevieve Scott, Staff Attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights. “We vow to fight this unconstitutional ban so North Carolina women can get safe, legal, compassionate abortion services.
If Donald Trump manages as president to get two nominees on the Supreme Court by the time this case reaches the court—which could be a year or more, the views of the majority of justices are likely to clash with the forced-birthers in this matter. Without removing the filibuster from the Senate rules, getting an anti-abortion nominee onto the court may prove difficult for Trump.