Appeals court blocks Arizona’s ‘dangerous’ 20-week abortion ban
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday blocked Arizona’s controversial new abortion law.
The ruling comes just two days after the U.S. District Court of Arizona rejected the Center for Reproductive Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) challenge to the state’s 20-week abortion ban, one of the most extreme anti-abortion laws in the nation.
“We are relieved that the court blocked this dangerous ban and that women in Arizona will continue to be able to get safe, appropriate medical care,” said Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “Abortion is a serious, personal decision that should be made by a woman, her family and her doctor – not by politicians.”
The Supreme Court’s 1973′s landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade upheld a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy until the fetus is physically viable outside the womb. A fetus is typically considered “viable” after 28 weeks.
But pro-life Arizona lawmakers said that abortion should be outlawed after 20-weeks of pregnancy because some research has found that fetuses are able to feel pain at that point.
According to the ACLU, the Arizona Section of the American Congress of Obstetrics & Gynecology opposed the ban because it interfered with the doctor-patient relationship and violated standard practice.
North Carolina has a similar 20-week ban. Georgia and Louisiana have also passed similar laws, but they haven’t yet gone into effect, according to Reuters.
With prior reporting by Kay Steiger
[Woman in approximately the 20th week of pregnancy via Shutterstock]