These actions amounted to what Osteen called the "chilling effect doctrine," which is when a law "reasonably dissuades individuals from engaging in constitutionally-protected speech for fear of criminal punishment." The "chilling effect" alone could justify a legal complaint against the law, said Osteen.
With the law struck down, abortion remains legal for any reason in North Carolina until a doctor determines t that the unborn child can survive outside of the womb.
The ruling will go into effect in 60 days from Monday, provided it is not further challenged by the state of North Carolina.
Earlier this year, lawmakers in the state attempted to pass legislation to ban abortion after the first trimester of a pregnancy.
Elsewhere in the United States, many states have passed bans on abortion pre-viability, including 15-weeks or fetal heartbeat bans. These laws have all been subject to judicial review upon passage, and with many being declared unconstitutional.
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Multiple judicial decisions against fetal heartbeat laws have prompted many pro-life organizations, as well as the Catholic bishops of Tennessee, to withdraw their support.
If the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision were to be overturned, states would be free to set their own abortion policies. Many states have codified the Roe decision into law in the event it would be overturned, but five states have "trigger laws" that would automatically ban abortion entirely if the case were overturned.