On Tuesday, Arizona requested that the U.S. Supreme Court weigh in on its pro-life law that prohibits abortions because of genetic abnormalities.
As reported by Fox News, “In an emergency request to the justices by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, the state is requesting that the court allow the law to resume after it was blocked by a federal judge in September.”
In April, Republican Governor of Arizona Doug Ducey signed the measure into law, saying at the time, per his official website, “There’s immeasurable value in every single life — regardless of genetic makeup.”
According to the website, the law “makes it a Class 6 felony to perform an abortion solely because of a genetic abnormality, use force or threat to intimidate a person to have an abortion because of a genetic abnormality of the child, or accept or solicit money to finance an abortion because of a genetic abnormality of the child.”
It also notably “does not apply to cases where the child has a lethal fetal condition and does not prohibit abortion sought for other reasons allowed by law, including the life and health of the mother.”
“The law prompted legal action from a group of doctors and abortion rights advocates ahead of the scheduled September effective date,” The Hill reported.
In September, a federal judge out of Arizona put a temporary halt to the measure while the legal action continues. “U.S. District Judge Douglas Rayes, an Obama appointee, ruled that the law likely places an unconstitutional burden on the right to abortion prior to fetal viability, typically around 24 weeks, that the Supreme Court recognized in Roe and subsequent rulings,” The Hill noted.
The outlet noted that last month, a federal appeals court in San Francisco did not get rid of the judge’s decision, which reportedly led to Brnovich going to the Supreme Court.
The Associated Press reported:
Brnovich argued in court papers that the law furthers Arizona’s interest in protecting the disability community from discrimination. He also wrote that it’s not right to call the law an abortion ban. A woman still could obtain an abortion in such circumstances if she doesn’t say why she wants one or makes a decision independent of a fetal abnormality, among other reasons, he wrote.
The case goes first to Justice Elena Kagan, who handles emergency requests from Arizona.
The action comes after the Supreme Court recently issued a ruling on two cases regarding a Texas pro-life law, which were brought before the Supreme Court last month. The high court had declined to halt the Texas law but agreed to give the two cases an expedited review.
Texas’ Heartbeat Act effectively outlaws abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy, when fetal cardiac activity can be detected. As The Daily Wire previously reported, “The Texas law allows citizens to sue abortion providers and those who ‘aid and abet’ illegal procedures for a financial reward if the lawsuit is successful.”
On Friday, the high court decided to allow abortion providers to continue with a lawsuit against the state. Still, it is allowing the legislation to stay in effect as the legal battles continue. “The ruling is procedural and will not be the final word on the law’s constitutionality,” Fox News reported.
As Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in the court’s opinion for the Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson case, “The Court concludes that the petitioners may pursue a pre-enforcement challenge against certain of the named defendants but not others.”
The Supreme Court got rid of a challenge brought by the Department of Justice against the Texas pro-life measure, as well.
The Supreme Court also recently heard arguments regarding a case out of Mississippi over a law in the state that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
When the Supreme Court agreed to hear the Mississippi case, it said it would consider the question of “Whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional,” meaning that with this decision, it could rule that states can make their own laws regarding abortion again — even possibly banning it up to the point of conception. The high court could give power back to the states to restrict abortion like they were able to do before the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.
There are currently at least 21 states with pro-life laws or constitutional amendments that would make them highly likely to prohibit almost all abortions in their states if Roe is overturned.
An additional five states would probably prohibit abortion as soon as they could. According to the Guttmacher Institute, these states include Florida, Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, and Wyoming.