Blog for Arizona, July 13, 2012
Earlier this year our Tea-Publican legislature pased the most restrictive abortion law in the nation. It bans abortions after 20 weeks, but has a unique provision for calculating the start of the 20 weeks from the date of the woman’s last menstrual period. As critics pointed out at the time, this means that a woman could be deemed pregnant two weeks before having had sexual intercourse — talk about your miraculous conception!
On Thursday, the Center for Reproductive Rights and the ACLU sued on behalf of three doctors to halt the new law from going int effect in August. Lawsuit challenges Arizona abortion restrictions:
Three Arizona abortion providers went to federal court Thursday to try to block an Arizona law that bans most abortions beginning at 20 weeks.
They are seeking a preliminary injunction to stop the law before it takes effect Aug.2.
The suit alleges the legislation violates the protections outlined in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision, which permits abortions before a fetus is viable. Medical experts and abortion clinics typically consider a fetus viable at 22 to 24 weeks. The suit states that the only exception to the new 20-week ban in the Arizona law is so narrow it “places significant burdens on the health of some women seeking abortion care.”
The legislation, which passed with strong Republican support and one Democratic crossover vote, bans abortions beginning with the 20th week of pregnancy. It calculates the start of the 20 weeks from the date of the woman’s last menstrual period.
Anyone found in violation of the ban would be subject to a Class 1 misdemeanor, which can carry a sentence of up to six months in prison. Doctors also could face discipline from the Arizona Medical Board and risk the loss or suspension of their medical license.
Janet Crepps of the Center for Reproductive Rights said Arizona was one of three states to pass 20-week limitations this year, joining seven other states with similar bans.
While the other laws were written with the intent of preventing fetal pain, Arizona’s takes the extra step of invoking a woman’s health risk.
“Arizona has gone beyond where the other states have taken this,” Crepps said. “It’s just a relentless display of hostility toward women and their health.”
The suit seeks a preliminary injunction and, if there isn’t time for that, asks the U.S. District Court for a temporary restraining order.
Of course, the sponsor of the bill, Mullah Cathi Herrod of the Christian Taliban aka the Center for Arizona Policy, was apoplectic and spewing hatred towards anyone who disagrees with her divine right to impose her religious dogma on everyone else and declaring a woman’s uterus to be the property of the state by force of law. “Infidels! I will smite thee in the name of God!” It’s time to break this extremists’ hold over the Arizona legislature.