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 stunning decision that flies in the face of all established precedent, a federal district court has let stand Arizona’s 20 week abortion ban despite the fact that it bans abortions pre-viability.

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.

Related Stories:

Lawsuit Filed To Strike Arizona 20 Week Abortion Ban

Arizona Takes Up Another Abortion Ban

Photo from walknboston via flickr.


Heather G.
Heather G5 years ago

Sarah H, are you in favor of child labor as well?? Just think how much sooner babies could become tax payers.

pam w.
pam w5 years ago

And don't forget that many of these fetuses were aborted because of genetic disorders. How much will it cost the state to raise them?

sarah jaffe
sarah jaffe5 years ago

Sarah H, with the current rate of unemployment how exactly would these unwanted babies, raised in foster care, adoption, or on the streets, be paying a significant amount of taxes?

pam w.
pam w5 years ago

That's a sick joke...right? You condemn a woman to motherhood under terrible circumstances so she can breed tax-payers?

If it's NOT a joke....you're a real piece of work! I assume YOU'VE given birth to a dozen future tax-payers?

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill5 years ago

No woman should be allowed to have an abortion that late into pregnancy.

Abortion is part of the reason we are in such a bad financial situation now. All these aborted babies would have been tax payers.

Patricia H.
Patricia H.5 years ago

Let your voice be heard VOTE

Betty Schueler
Betty Schueler5 years ago

I hope this ruling gets tossed out but I won't hold my breath. It is obviously a challenge to Roe v. Wade and will probably be taken all the way to the Supreme Court. Let's hope it isn't all conservative judges when that happens.

Evelyn W.
Evelyn W5 years ago

I have to agree that many women have gotten complacent.WE need to wake up,and make lots of noise.I was a teenager in the 70's.I am of the age that I heard the whispers of back alley abortions,and of the women then being sterile or dying.I remember 1973 very well.Women were proud of their ability to get a legal abortion.Helen Reddy sang "I am Women" a short time later.Somewhere though in the last 10 years I have noticed that women don't proclaim their abortions like they did in the 70's.Women are becoming embarressed and are keeping it a secret.That needs to change.The laws will continue to erode if we act like we are ashamed of having an abortion.VOTE be heard.

BMutiny TCorporationsAreE

"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"

At 20 weeks, some women don't KNOW they are pregnant! Some women's periods are irregular anyway, and if there are no other symptoms of pregnancy....
I figured out pregnancy, because of weight gain. I figured out when I got pregnant, by the last time I had sex. It WAS PROTECTED SEX {with a condom}, but I guess the condom was faulty or it broke...
My DAUGHTER had an abortion; and my Grandmother, at the time a married woman with 3 children already, had an abortion. My Daughter's abortion was the first SAFE and Legal one in our family... Women will ALWAYS have abortions, legal or not...

Danuta Watola
Danuta W5 years ago

Thanks for sharing