(Headline USA) Democratic candidates have decried North Carolina’s newly reinstated abortion restrictions after a federal judge allowed a state law banning nearly all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy to go into effect.
But some North Carolina Democrats say the ruling earlier this month might be a rallying point for their party needed to reinvigorate its political prospects in what was shaping up to be a losing year.
“I do think it’s a blessing in disguise for Democrats,” said Morgan Jackson, consultant to powerful North Carolina Democrats like Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein.
Continuing, Jackson complained that she and other North Carolinians have been limited in the ability to kill their children.
“It was a horrible policy decision that set back decades and decades of progress for women, but at that same time, it has given Democrats a renewed optimism about this year.”
U.S. District Judge William Osteen ruled Aug. 17 that the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade erased the legal foundation for his 2019 ruling that had placed an injunction on the 1973 state law banning abortions after 20 weeks.
The law allows medical emergencies that threaten the mother’s life or “create serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment,” it does not grant exceptions for rape or incest.
The judge’s decision comes as North Carolina is preparing to vote this fall on its entire state legislature, two state supreme court races, all 14 U.S. House seats and a high-profile U.S. Senate contest.
Democrats have dreamed for years of replicating their 2008 success when the state went blue for president, governor and U.S. Senate. Although the current governor is a Democrat, Republicans have dominated both chambers of the legislature since 2011, allowing them to advance a conservative agenda, including the pro-life cause.
That dominance held even in 2020 despite a massive effort by Democrats to wrest control of the General Assembly. Republicans are now just five seats shy of the supermajority they need to nullify the Democratic governor’s veto.
National organizations are already funneling money into the state’s tightest races.
Hours before the 20-week ban resumed, Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading reproductive health care provider and an abortion rights advocacy organization, announced North Carolina would be one of the target states where it’s spending a record $50 million ahead of the midterm elections.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press.