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Arizona 20-week abortion ban upheld by US judge

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


A US judge upholds an Arizona abortion ban law that imposes a 20-week cutoff for women seeking the procedure, well before fetal viability. It’s latest victory for abortion opponents.  

A federal judge on Monday upheld the constitutionality of a tough new abortion law in Arizona, which imposes restrictions on doctors seeking to end a pregnancy well before a fetus can survive on its own outside a mother’s womb.

The restrictions, which were signed into law in April, made Arizona the 10th state to pass a ban on abortion at the 20- week stage— three to four weeks before so-called fetal viability.

Lawyers challenging Arizona’s statute had argued that US Supreme Court precedent says women have a constitutional right to end their pregnancy at any time prior to fetal viability.

But US District Judge James Teilborg said the statute, HB 2036, did not impose a substantial obstacle to woman’s constitutional rights. He said the law is justified by evidence that a fetus can feel pain as soon as 20 weeks after conception.

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