Federal Judge Blocks Arizona Law Giving Civil Rights To Unborn Children
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 03: Drew Hymer of Arvada, Colorado stands on the street corner displaying a sign in support of Personhood prior to the Presidential Debate at the University of Denver on October 3, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The first of four debates for the 2012 Election, three Presidential and one Vice Presidential, is moderated by PBS's Jim Lehrer and focuses on domestic issues: the economy, health care, and the role of government.
Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images.

A federal judge blocked a personhood law in Arizona that gave civil rights to unborn children, saying it was “unconstitutionally vague.”

Passed in 2021, the legislation stipulated that laws in the state be interpreted with the understanding that unborn children be treated with the same rights as state residents and citizens. On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Rayes struck down the bill saying it was unconstitutional. 

“A law is unconstitutionally vague if its application is so unclear that people of ordinary intelligence cannot figure out in advance how to comply with it,” Rayes said. 

The judge said that the due process rights of abortionists could be violated by the law since it was unclear if they could be prosecuted if they performed even legal abortions

“When the punitive and regulatory weight of the entire Arizona code is involved, Plaintiffs should not have to guess at whether their conduct is on the right or the wrong side of the law,” Rayes said

Arizona’s personhood law had said that state laws “shall be interpreted and construed to acknowledge, on behalf of an unborn child at every stage of development, all rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens and residents of this state.”

Brittni Thomason, a spokeswoman for Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, said that the office was considering how to move forward following the ruling. 

“Today’s ruling was based on an interpretation of Arizona law that our office did not agree with, and we are carefully considering our next steps,” she said, per the Washington Post. 

Pro-abortion groups praised the decision, with Jessica Sklarsky of the Center for Reproductive Rights claiming the law was “being used to create an unthinkably extreme abortion ban.”

“The Supreme Court’s catastrophic decision overturning Roe v. Wade has unleashed chaos on the ground, leaving Arizona residents scrambling to figure out if they can get the abortion care they need,” she claimed. 

Arizona has a newly passed 15-week abortion ban as well as a long-standing 1901 abortion ban which could be law, though the legal ramifications of that law are still under discussion. 

The judge’s move on Monday is the latest example of a court blocking the implementation of a state’s pro-life law following the overturning of Roe in June, which effectively turned abortion legislation back to the states. 

Pro-life laws in other states, including Louisiana, Florida, and Kentucky, have been blocked or held up by judges showing that even with Roe gone, it is likely that the battle over these laws will continue around the country. 

Kansas, Georgia, Missouri, and Alabama have similar personhood laws. 

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Federal Judge Blocks Arizona Law Giving Civil Rights To Unborn Children