The American Civil Liberties Union, along with Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a federal lawsuit that seeks to overturn North Carolina’s unconstitutional law that prevents doctors from providing abortion care to a woman after the twentieth week of pregnancy.

The law denies women the ability to make decisions about their own bodies and prevents some women from accessing treatment at all.

Far too often, financial hurdles, barriers put in place by politicians, lack of a nearby provider, or clinic closures make it impossible for a woman to get an abortion as soon as she would like. The ban forces women to travel long distances out of state to access care — putting much needed health care well out of reach for North Carolina women. 

The law contains only the narrowest possible exception for immediate medical emergencies. For women who are able to access care, the ban forces physicians caring for a woman to delay necessary care until her condition imposes an immediate threat of death or major medical damage. 

The law was brought on behalf of North Carolina healthcare providers who say the law prevents doctors them from fulfilling their professional responsibilities and obligations as physicians.  The case, Bryant et al. v. Woodall et al., was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, and the Center for Reproductive Rights.

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