RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A federal judge could issue a decision this week on whether to reinstate North Carolina’s law banning most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, following a deadline for the parties involved in the case to weigh in on it.

U.S. Judge William Osteen has told them to submit briefs to him by the beginning of this week. A few years ago, Osteen issued an injunction blocking that law, citing Roe v. Wade.

Now that the Supreme Court has overturned that decision, Osteen said his previous order “may now be contrary to law,” paving the way for the 20-week ban to go back into effect. That law makes exceptions for medical emergencies.

Republican leaders in the General Assembly filed a brief in the case late last month urging the judge to reinstate the law after North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein (D) declined to make that argument himself.

“Protecting women’s access to care is more important than ever,” Stein said last week. “This issue matters to millions of North Carolinians, and I represent them as their attorney general.”

Stein said attorneys in his office will submit a brief to the judge on Monday but did not elaborate on precisely what that brief would include. Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the NC Values Coalition, said there is no longer a legal basis for blocking the law.

“It’s almost a certainty that law will go back into effect,” she said. “The judge probably has no choice but to reinstate the 20-week law.”

Data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services shows that abortions occurring after 20 weeks are rare in North Carolina, accounting for 0.2 percent of abortions in 2020. Nearly 70 percent occurred at the eight-week mark or sooner.

Ultimately, the election will determine whether North Carolina sees any additional restrictions beyond the 20-week ban.

Though the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade while the legislature was still in session, Republicans declined to pursue any new laws dealing with abortion access. They pointed out that Gov. Roy Cooper (D) would veto them, and that Democrats in the legislature would stick together in sustaining any vetoes.

Republicans need to gain three seats in the state House of Representatives and two seats in the state Senate to have veto-proof supermajorities.

While Republicans have said that addressing the issue is a top priority for them in next year’s legislative session, they have not outlined a specific proposal for what laws they would seek to enact.

“Killing unborn babies should be unacceptable altogether. Up to 20 weeks is unacceptable,” said Fitzgerald. “In order to make North Carolina pro-life again, in order to sustain those laws, we have to have those majorities.”

Democrats said they were encouraged by the election in Kansas last week where voters rejected an attempt to remove abortion rights from the state’s constitution by a margin of 59-41.

“Right to abortion care is on the ballot this November and every election to come thereafter,” said Stein.