Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Arizona HB 2036: Federal Judge Upholds Restrictive Abortion Law

800px-Entering_Arizona_on_I-10_Westbound
In a relatively brief opinion in Isaacson v. Horne, federal judge James Teilborg rejected constitutional challenges to  Arizona House Bill 2036 (“H.B. 2036”), signed into law by the Governor in April 2012, restricting all abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy or later, except in "medical emergency."  The judge evaluated the legislative findings of "the documented risks to women’s health and the strong medical evidence that unborn children feel pain during an abortion at [20 weeks] gestational age."

The opinion's reasoning largely rests on two extensive quotations.  First, the judge quotes from Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 879-80 (1992), regarding the definition of “medical emergency,” concluding that the Arizona statute is within the broad definition.  Second, the judge relied on Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124 (2007) and its description of one type of procedure. The judge then credited the legislature's fetal pain rationale, finding that "by 7 weeks gestational age, pain sensors develop in the face of the unborn child and, by 20 weeks, sensory receptors develop all over the child’s body and the children have a full complement of pain receptors."  The judge did add that as an additional legitimate interest, the "instance of complications is highest after twenty weeks of 20  gestation" supported the interest in the pregnant woman's health.

The Center for Reproductive Rights will undoubtedly appeal.

RR

UPDATE HERE

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/conlaw/2012/07/arizona-hb-2036-federal-judge-upholds-restrictive-abortion-law.html

Abortion, Due Process (Substantive), Family, Fourteenth Amendment, Reproductive Rights, Sexuality | Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bfae553ef016768f3369e970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Arizona HB 2036: Federal Judge Upholds Restrictive Abortion Law:

Comments

Post a comment