WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Reuters) - North Carolina cannot require abortion providers to show and describe to pregnant women images from ultrasounds performed before the procedures, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday.

District Judge Catherine Eagles temporarily halted that part of the state's new abortion law, set to take effect on Wednesday. The judge ruled that challengers of the law had shown they were likely to prove that the provision violated their constitutional rights.

The provision requires providers to perform an ultrasound at least four hours before an abortion and to describe to patients the images seen on the ultrasound.

The judge left in place a provision that imposes a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion.

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Greg McCune)