Judge Temporarily Blocks Parts of New Arizona Abortion Law

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Sections to criminalize abortion performed due to genetic abnormalities

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Judge Reyes said it would put “a major obstacle” in the path of patients and could hinder their relationship with their doctor. She added that some abortion providers in the state perform the procedure later in pregnancy, around the time when a genetic diagnosis can be determined.

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The judge also blocked another section of the law that would have allowed anyone who raised or provided funds for such abortions to be charged as well.

The new Arizona law went into effect Wednesday. Signed by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey in April, it includes other abortion rules like prohibiting doctors or providers from sending abortion-inducing medication to patients by mail.

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Two Arizona-based physicians and state-based organizations represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the ACLU of Arizona, sued the state in August, arguing that the law stipulated a person’s constitutional right to an abortion. rights have been violated. She said the decision to have an abortion can be complicated.

“This decision is a victory for Arizonans,” said Ruth Harlow, senior staff attorney for the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, which represented the plaintiffs in the case. “Politicians should not have the power to accept or deny our personal medical decisions and Physicians should be charged with felony for serving their patients.”

Proponents of the law say that the decision to have an abortion based solely on the genetic abnormalities of the fetus is discriminatory.

“We are confident that the law will be upheld and a fully enforceable rule will be enforced,” said Cathy Herrod, president of the Arizona Policy Center, which supported the legislation. The office of Arizona Attorney General Mark Branovich, a defendant in the case, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

When Mr Ducey signed the law in April, the governor said it went ahead and increased protections for fetuses. “There is immeasurable value in every single life – regardless of genetic makeup,” he said.

Judge Reyes’ order on Tuesday did not block that part of the law, which states that fetuses, at any stage of development, will have the same civil rights as any person in Arizona. The judge, who was nominated to the bench by President Obama, said the clause must be challenged in state courts, depending on how it is implemented.

In recent years several states have passed laws restricting or prohibiting abortion based on genetic abnormalities such as Down syndrome. In June, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, vetoed a similar law passed by the state legislature.

In April, a federal appeals court upheld an Ohio law that bars physicians from providing abortions to patients who said they were seeking the procedure because of a possible genetic disorder of the fetus. It was the first time a federal appellate court held that such a law did not violate the constitutional right to abortion.

Several months later in June, a separate federal appeals court blocked Missouri from enforcing a 2019 law that made it illegal for a physician to perform an abortion after a patient sought the procedure because of fears of a fetus with Down syndrome. Gave. The decision cites the Supreme Court’s precedent that prohibits abortion before a fetus has reached the stage of viability, which means it can survive outside the womb.

A much-anticipated case before the Supreme Court later this year was in 1973 in Roe v. Might make the most important decision on abortion since Wade. The court will begin hearing on December 1 the reasoning for the Mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks, which is well ahead of the standard previously set by the Supreme Court.

In a 5-4 vote in early September, the Supreme Court allowed a Texas law prohibiting abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy to take effect, excluding most procedures in the state. The most restrictive abortion law in effect in the US, the Texas law forced abortion providers to scramble to accommodate new rules and people seeking abortions had to seek care outside the state. The Justice Department sued Texas over the law earlier this month. A federal judge scheduled an October 1 hearing for the case.

Write to Jennifer Calfas at [email protected]

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