On Wednesday the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal blocked Arizona from enforcing a new state ban on almost any abortion after 20 weeks.
The three-judge panel issued the injunction just two days after a lower court upheld the ban on the basis as constitutional. The measure bars doctors from performing abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy except in a medical emergency, defined as a case where an immediate abortion is required to avert the mother’s death or a risk of “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.” Under the law, physicians found in violation of the ban would face a misdemeanor criminal charge and possible suspension or revocation of their licenses, despite the fact that Supreme Court precedent suggests banning abortion pre-viability is patently unconstitutional.
The ruling prompted the appeal to the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit.
“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,” ACLU staff attorney Alexa Kolbi-Molinas said in a statement.
Under the two-page order issued by the appeals court, attorneys have until mid-October to present their briefs, and then the case will be placed on the first available argument calendar for a hearing.
Photo from DonkeyHotey via flickr.