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North Carolina 20-Week Abortion Ban

This law was last updated on Mar 27, 2019


North Carolina


N.C.G.S. 14-44 – 14.45.1




20-Week Bans

Full Bill Text

In North Carolina, abortion is prohibited unless it is performed during the first 20 weeks of a woman’s pregnancy by a physician licensed to practice medicine in North Carolina in a hospital or clinic certified by the Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, an abortion performed after 20 weeks is not unlawful if there is “substantial risk that continuance of the pregnancy would threaten the life or gravely impair the health of the woman.” (N.C.G.S. §§ 14-44, 14-45 & 14-45.1.)

This law was enacted in 1973 and is not tied to fetal pain, unlike the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which is based on a National Right to Life Committee model bill and which was first enacted in Nebraska in 2010.


In 2016, a group of abortion providers filed a lawsuit challenging the law. (Bryant v. Woodall.)

Update #1

March 25, 2019 – U.S. District Court Judge William Osteen, Jr. blocked the law.

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