Reaction to NC 20-week abortion ban reinstated by federal Judge

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – North Carolina’s statewide 20-week abortion ban reinstated by a federal judge on Wednesday, and people who support abortion rights are speaking out on the impact they believe it will have on people seeking abortions.

WWAY spoke with representatives for Planned Parenthood and the Pro-Choice North Carolina Foundation say abortions are time-sensitive and the 20-week abortion ban could lead to people having to travel longer distances to get one.

Alison Kiser with Planned Parenthood South Atlantic says nearly 90% of abortion care happens within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and less than 1% happens after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Kiser said abortions beyond 20 weeks are rare, but having it as an option may be necessary for some.

“It is a really important option for, –for Women, doctors, families, to consider particularly if perhaps they receive some new medical information they didn’t have before. There could be a devastating fetal maternal diagnosis in play, but it’s just really important that these decisions be left up to families and medical professionals without government interference,” said Alison Kiser with director of external affairs for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic.

Tara Romano with the Pro-Choice North Carolina Foundation says the 20-week abortion ban paired with North Carolina’s 72-hour mandatory waiting period to receive an abortion, is an additional barrier for those traveling to the state for abortions.

“People have to travel, because you have to travel out of state, have to take time off of work often people accessing abortion already have children, have to arrange for childcare like t just keeps adding time onto something that’s already a time sensitive procedure. Of course having this ban, that say you know after 20 weeks you’re not able to get an abortion here, so it all adds up to have a lot of barriers in place.”‘

The topic also has many agreeing with the reinstated law.

Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America released a statement, saying in part:

“Judge Osteen’s decision is a win for North Carolina women and their unborn children…. As pro-life Americans continue building consensus for protecting every child in the Dobbs era, we rejoice that lives are immediately being saved.”

Anatomy scans typically happen between the 18th and 22nd week of pregnancy.

Dr. Lydia Wright with Wilmington Maternal Fetal Medicine, a pregnancy care center that provides services to high risk mothers, said they give high risk mothers anatomy scans earlier in the pregnancy. During that time, doctors can look at babies organ development and determine risks for it and the pregnant woman.

“We try to reach out and get the expertise of the best doctors in the country for our patients, but some of these things are lethal of nature, and that’s why it’s so important to try to screen babies and fetuses early in gestation, it’s just that our window is a little brief, but it’s doable,” said Dr. Lydia Wright, Wilmington Maternal Fetal Medicine.

At this time, there is not an exception to the 20-week abortion ban if a concerning medical diagnosis is uncovered during an anatomy scan.


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