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Arizona cannot enforce its ban on abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancies, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this morning.
The justice rejected a bid by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery to review an appellate court ruling concluding the 2012 law is likely unconstitutional. The justices gave no reason for their decision in their brief order.
The Arizona law made it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion on a woman who is beyond the 19th week of pregnancy. The only exceptions are when necessary to prevent a woman’s death or “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.”
Last year, however, the 9th Circuit said the law is not enforceable. The judges said Supreme Court precedents have made it clear that women have an absolute right to terminate a pregnancy at any time prior to viability, something that does not occur until around the 23rd or 24th week.
Montgomery, however, contended Arizona lawmakers have a legitimate interest in stepping in.
He cited testimony — disputed by some — that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks. Montgomery also said the procedure has an increased risk to the mother after that point.
Appellate Judge Marsh Berzon, writing for the 9th Circuit, said all that is legally irrelevant.
"A woman has a constitutional right to choose to terminate her pregnancy before the fetus is viable," she wrote. "A prohibition on the exercise of that right is per se unconstitutional."
In a concurring opinion, Judge Andrew Kleinfeld brushed aside the measure’s stated interest in protecting a woman’s health as a reason to keep her from getting an abortion at or after 20 weeks.
"People are free to do many things to their health, such as surgery to improve their quality of life but unnecessary to preserve life," Kleinfeld wrote. "There appears to be no authority for making an exception to this general liberty regarding one’s own health for abortion."
The ruling was cheered by Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represented several Arizona doctors who had challenged the law. She said the high court, by its action, affirmed the 9th Circuit’s “sound decision that Arizona’s abortion ban is clearly unconstitutional under long-standing precedent.”
She also noted that the ruling likely had broader implications, as lawmakers in several other states have approved similar measures.
"Women should not be forced to run to court, year after year, in state after state, to protect their constitutional rights and access to critical health care," Northup said in a prepared statement."
The Arizona Daily Star, "Arizona Cannot Enforce Abortion Ban, Supreme Court Rules" (via inothernews)
I hope this trend continues in other states with the ban.
Hey if you could please spread the word, this is really important!!
A new “undercover” video of an abortion clinic in Phoenix has just gone viral and is currently receiving massive criticism in the state. It is likely that if we don’t act now there will be a massive legislative backlash against abortion in Arizona. (as if it’s not bad enough already!!)
The groups Live Action and Center for Arizona Policy are planning a rally outside of the clinic tomorrow as noon and if you can meet there to counter-protest and show your support for the continuing access to abortion in Arizona PLEASE do so. This is important.
And if anyone has any information about plans already in the works please share!!!
Here is a link to the article:
And here is a link to my original post so your followers can signal boost!!
I don’t know how I feel about counter-protests. It seems like it would just create more chaos and stress for staff and for patients trying to get to their appointments. Is there some other way to show support for staff and patients? Maybe through donations, clinic escorting, etc.?
We now have offers for help getting to and from a clinic, lodging, child care, and emotional support from 28 states and four Canadian provinces, with a total of 63 submissions. Thank you so much to everyone who has submitted and spread the word about this blog.
There are still 22 states, 6 provinces, and 3 Canadian territories that need help. If you or someone you know lives in these areas and can help, please submit your offer using the Ask or Submit boxes!
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Washington, D.C.
- West Virginia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island - abortion is not available on PEI, so transportation to other provinces is needed
Signal boost, please!
It’s only a “paradox” because they self-identify by the blatantly false moniker “pro-life.”
(again, h/t to SS)
[NB: More people than just cis women need and want access to abortion care]
By defunding therapy and education programs for kids with disabilities, you’re only creating more financial need down the line when they don’t develop the skills they need to be as independent as possible.
Just more proof that conservatives take the easiest, showiest “moral” stance possible by fetishizing the fetus while ripping away support systems for parents and children.
The bill that is being mentioned here is HB 2625, which gives religiously-affiliated employers the OK to not provide contraception coverage for employees and employees have to submit a report as to why they’re taking contraception.
I am not surprised at this point. >_< - Midori-fairy
Arizona’s really gunning for that Most Ass-Backwards State title these days.
Yes, this just happened. Jan Brewer signed on the ban of funding to Planned Parenthood in Arizona. This is a really rough day today.
Virginia is now the 8th state with forced ultrasounds before abortion. When it passed its law, it joined Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.
Texas has the harshest forced ultrasound law currently in effect. As Andrea Grimes reported,
“Texas has the most extreme law that’s being enforced right now,” says the Center For Reproductive Rights’ Julie Rikelman, the lead attorney on the CRR’s lawsuit filed against the Texas legislation. Despite the sympathetic leanings of a federal district judge who initially ruled on the case, the suit has more or less been stalled by a vehemently anti-choice Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which denied the CRR’s requested injunction against enforcement last month. Now, that means that all aspects of the law—mandated ultrasounds, 24-hour waiting periods, and forced speech—are now in full force in Texas.
Oklahoma’s forced ultrasound bill, which was similar to TX’s, was struck down by a federal court recently.
North Carolina, which also has passed a harsh TX-style forced ultrasound bill, is unable to enforce their law pending a court decision.
Pennsylvania’s forced ultrasound bill is officially kaput, at least for this year.
And, as Robin Marty reports, Iowa:
What is the difference between a traffic light camera and a mandatory trans-vaginal ultrasound? One is a violation of privacy, according to Iowa legislators.
Can you guess which?
The Iowa legislature is considering banning traffic cameras due to “privacy concerns.” And those who are arguing for the ban are the same who think all women should be forced to undergo forced ultrasounds prior to an abortion.
These laws will affect all those with the ability to become pregnant.
Allison Yarrow at The Daily Beast on Arizona’s new super restrictive law.
The fucked up irony here is that in signing this law, Gov Brewer said: “This legislation is consistent with my strong track record of supporting common sense measures to protect the health of women and safeguard our most vulnerable population–the unborn.” Of course, that sentence is nonsense. And the truly vulnerable population are people in rural Arizona whose primary access to abortion care is now being cut off.
[NB: More people than just cis women need and want access to abortion care.](via keepyourboehneroutofmyuterus)
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