Court Upholds Most Extreme and Dangerous Abortion Ban in the Nation

Affiliate: ACLU of Arizona
July 30, 2012 2:24 pm

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ACLU and Center for Reproductive Rights Vow to Appeal to Protect Women’s Health

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PHOENIX — A federal court in Arizona today upheld the most extreme abortion ban in the country.

The Arizona law, which criminalizes virtually all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, contains only the narrowest possible exception for medical emergencies. The ban would force a physician caring for a woman with a high-risk pregnancy to wait until her condition imposes an immediate threat of death or major medical damage before offering her the care she needs. The ban also contains no exceptions for a woman who receives the devastating diagnosis that the fetus will not survive after birth.

The law was challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Arizona and the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of three physicians and their patients. The organizations plan to immediately file an emergency appeal of today’s decision to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and to ask the court to prevent the law from going into effect.

“Today, the court upheld a law that prevents doctors from providing safe, legal medical care to their patients,” said Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “We will do everything we can to stop this law from going into effect and to prevent politicians from interfering with decisions that should be made by a woman, her family and her doctor.”

“This law forces a sick, pregnant woman to wait until she is on the brink of disaster before her doctor can provide her medically appropriate care,” said Dan Pochoda, legal director of the ACLU of Arizona. “We will continue the fight to protect women’s health and to ensure they can get the care they need.”

More information on this case can be found at

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