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Federal judge blocks Arizona’s anti-abortion law

By Andrew Jones
Monday, December 26, 2011 13:54 EDT
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A federal judge in Arizona issued a temporary injunction against a new law intended to target donations to charities that provide abortion services or refer people to abortion providers, according to The Arizona Republic.

The law, House Bill 2384, excludes organizations that “provide pay for, promote, provide coverage of or provide referrals for abortions” in the Working Poor Tax Credit Program and was scheduled to go in effect on January 1.

But Judge Roslyn Silver felt in her ruling that the law was infringing on free speech.

“Arizona could not punish an organization with a fine if it were to engage in certain types of abortion-related speech,” she wrote. “Excluding an organization from the program solely because of the type of abortion-related speech which the organization engages in is an attempt to impose a similar financial harm.”

The Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence (AZCADV) and American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona filed a lawsuit against the bill, saying it violates freedom of speech and is potentially dangerous to abused women.

“Our members shouldn’t feel torn between presenting a pregnant woman with information about her options and sacrificing much-needed donations,” AZCADV’s Executive Director Elizabeth Ditlevson said. “The needs of the woman and her family should come first. Politics should have nothing to do with it.”

Arizona’s Working Poor Tax Credit Program offers the state’s tax payers a dollar for dollar tax to donate organizations supporting low-income workers.

[Photo credit: triskay86/Emily Richmond]

Andrew Jones
Andrew Jones
Andrew Jones is a staff writer/reporter for Raw Story. Besides covering politics, he is also a freelance sports journalist, as well as a slam poetry and music artist. You can follow him on Twitter @sluggahjells.
 
 
 
 
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