A federal judge decided on Wednesday that abortions in North Carolina are no longer permitted beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy

Weakening protections in one of the South's last remaining bastions of reproductive freedom. Get all details here.

A 20-week abortion ban that had been ineffective was reinstated by U.S. District Judge William Osteen, with the exception of critical medical situations.

The judgement was made after he said that the Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in June had removed the legal support for his 2019 order that put an injunction on the 1973 state statute.

Months after the Roe v. Wade decision, in 1973, the restriction on abortions after 20 weeks was first enacted into law.

Shortly after lawmakers restricted abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy to only being permitted if the mother confronts a risk of death or substantial and irreversible harm.

From some urgent medical emergency, the rule was subsequently challenged. The statute was then deemed unlawful by Osteen in 2019.

At the attorney general's office, who earlier this week filed briefs urging him to uphold the injunction, disagree with Osteen's decision made on Wednesday.

Osteen, who was selected for the bench by Republican President George W. Bush, stated that "neither this court, nor the public,

nor lawyers, nor providers have the right to disregard the rule of law as defined by the Supreme Court."

On July 6, the governor issued an executive order protecting out-of-state abortion patients from extradition and forbidding state agencies from providing such protection.