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RALEIGH, North Carolina (LifeSiteNews) – North Carolina’s Democrat Attorney General Josh Stein is under fire from state Republican leaders for refusing to fight to uphold a 20-week abortion ban that continues to be blocked in court despite the June overturn of Roe v. Wade.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the 1973 precedent that forced all 50 states to allow most abortions sparked the activation of scores of pro-life laws across the country. But a state law capping abortions at 20 weeks (around the time preborn babies can feel pain), which has been on the books since that same year, remains enjoined.
Last month, attorneys representing GOP state Senate Leader Phil Berger and state House Speaker Tim Moore filed a brief urging U.S. District Judge William Osteen to lift an injunction against the law, arguing that despite not being parties to the case, they had “significant interest” in it in light of Stein’s failure to defend state law.
“The attorney general is dedicated to promoting ‘reproductive freedoms’ (i.e., abortion) rather than following and upholding the law,” the Republican legislative leaders argued, the Associated Press reported. “(Stein) publicly opposes the statutes he is tasked with defending and is engaged in fundraising efforts based on his opposition.”
“We’ve been doing our jobs from the first day when this lawsuit was filed,” Stein responded. “My office and I defended the statute as it is written, and once the district court ruled that it was unconstitutional the office appealed the decision. I, however, recused myself because it’s not proper for a lawyer that’s defending a law to speak out against it.”
Despite claiming to be defending the law, Stein’s office went on to file a brief Monday calling for the pro-life law to not be restored, the AP reported, on the grounds that it would supposedly create “significant risk of public confusion” about abortion access in the Tar Heel State.
“Staff attorneys in Stein’s office filed the brief without the attorney general’s involvement,” the AP claimed, citing Stein’s recusal.
“We’re confident that Judge Osteen will see through the political posturing of the plaintiffs and the attorney general’s office and lift the injunction now that Roe and Casey have been overturned,” a spokesperson for Sen. Berger told the AP.
Across the country, abortion giant Planned Parenthood has suspended abortions and/or closed locations in reaction to the Supreme Court’s ruling reactivating scores of pro-life laws, and pro-life attorneys general have declared their intentions to enforce their states’ duly-enacted abortion prohibitions.
But leftists prosecutors in dozens of localities have vowed not to enforce such laws, and pro-abortion activists have refocused efforts on supporting interstate travel for abortion and enshrining “rights” to abortion in state constitutions, ensuring that work and debate will continue over the prospect of banning abortion nationally. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has called for electing more Democrats to Congress to support codifying a “right” to abortion-on-demand in federal law.