Why We Vote: Judge Refuses To Block Arizona 20 Week Abortion Ban
NOTE: This election will be decided on turnout. We’ll be running posts from the past three and a half years to remind ourselves why we really do need to vote – and get our friends out too!
In a tortured and lengthy analysis Judge James Teilborg held the 20 week abortion ban doesn’t really ban abortions pre-viability, it just forces a woman to decide much earlier if she will terminate her pregnancy. And because the law has a narrow exception for the health and life of a woman, Teilborg said there’s reason to believe the law is constitutional.
The law will now take effect on August 2nd unless the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals intervenes. The Center for Reproductive Rights and the ACLU have made clear their plan to immediately file an emergency appeal of the decision to prevent the law from going into effect.
“Today’s decision casts aside decades of legal precedent, ignoring constitutional protections for reproductive rights that have been upheld by the United States Supreme Court for nearly 40 years and threatening women’s health and lives,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO at the Center for Reproductive Rights. “Anyone concerned with the erosion of constitutional rights in the U.S. and the intrusion of government into the lives and private decisions of individual citizens should be profoundly disturbed by today’s decision,” Northup stressed.
The decision comes just after the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of a South Dakota law that forces doctors tell women seeking an abortion that the procedure increases their risk of suicide.
Because the Arizona law bans abortions prior to the generally acceptable point of viability it challenges, head on, the central premise of Roe v. Wade and affirmed in later case law that states may not ban abortions pre-viability. The Arizona decision chips away at this prohibition by suggesting it isn’t a ban as much as an “opportunity” to make a speedier decision.
This was a law written to spark a challenge to Roe and it now it’s all but certain it will.
Photo from walknboston via flickr.