North Carolina, once an “abortion destination” for women throughout the South, will prohibit abortion after 12 weeks’ gestation starting July 1.
On Thursday, a federal judge allowed most of the law to go into effect as the court considers the measure. The ruling did temporarily block a provision requiring abortion doctors to document the existence of a pregnancy in a patient’s medical records.
In May, a Republican supermajority in the North Carolina General Assembly overrode Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the 12-week abortion ban. A lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood South Atlantic prompted the state to pass a bipartisan amendment to the bill clarifying that medication abortions are legal up to 12 weeks.
The law still requires people in North Carolina to visit a clinic in-person 72 hours before receiving abortion care, even for medication abortions. The two in-person visits and the waiting period will likely present a huge impediment to those traveling from other Southern states for abortions, effectively ending North Carolina’s status as an abortion haven, against the wishes of Cooper and his constituents.