Monday, July 30, 2012

Federal Judge Allows Arizona's Post-20-Week Abortion Ban To Take Effect

It's very hard to see how this decision can be squared with existing Supreme Court precedents, given that the ban clearly reaches pre-viability abortions.

Reuters: Judge clears Arizona's late-term abortion ban to take effect, by David Schwartz:

A federal judge refused on Monday to block an Arizona law banning most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, clearing the way for the statute to take effect this week.

District Judge James Teilborg ruled that the measure, passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature and signed into law in April by Republican Governor Jan Brewer, is in keeping with standards that federal courts have set on limits to late-term abortions.

The new statute, due to take effect on Thursday, bars healthcare professionals from performing abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, except in the case of a medical emergency. Only a small number of such abortions are performed in the state each year. . . .

Washington Post - WonkBlog: Federal court upholds Arizona’s late-term abortion law, by Sarah Kliff:

A federal court in Arizona has upheld the state’s ban on abortions after 20 weeks, allowing it to come into effect on August 1. The ruling has already set off further legal challenges that are likely to center on one question: Where does the line get drawn between an abortion restriction and an all-out ban?

Ever since Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has allowed states to ban abortions after the fetus is viable – usually thought to be around 23 or 24 weeks – as long as such restrictions have an exception for the health or life of the mother. The Supreme Court has not allowed bans prior to that point in pregnancy. . . .

ACLU press release: Court Upholds Most Extreme and Dangerous Abortion Ban in the Nation:

A federal court in Arizona today upheld the most extreme abortion ban in the country.

The Arizona law, which criminalizes virtually all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, contains only the narrowest possible exception for medical emergencies. The ban would force a physician caring for a woman with a high-risk pregnancy to wait until her condition imposes an immediate threat of death or major medical damage before offering her the care she needs. The ban also contains no exceptions for a woman who receives the devastating diagnosis that the fetus will not survive after birth. . . .

Abortion, Abortion Bans, In the Courts, State and Local News | Permalink

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