NEW YORK (AP) _ In a ruling that could affect abortions nationwide, a federal judge on Thursday blocked enforcement of the government's new ban on certain late-term abortions _ the second court victory for abortion-rights advocates since President Bush signed the law.

U.S. District Judge Richard Casey granted a request by the National Abortion Federation and seven doctors to block enforcement of the ban.

The ruling, while it applies only to the plaintiffs, may have broad application. The federation says that its members perform half of the abortions done nationwide.