High court rejects review of Arizona's 20-week abortion ban
January 13th, 2014
09:40 AM ET
9 months ago

High court rejects review of Arizona's 20-week abortion ban

Washington (CNN) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned aside Arizona's appeal to reinstate its law banning most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

A federal appeals court last year said the restrictions were unconstitutional.

The high court's refusal without comment to intervene now means the provisions passed in 2012 cannot be enforced.

Twelve states have similar laws, shortening the period the high court established four decades ago, after it said abortion should be legal until viability, when a fetus is generally believed to survive outside the womb. Current medical science puts that at about 24 weeks into the pregnancy.

Legal challenges in other states are working their way through the courts, including in Texas, which passed a variety of measures over access to abortion.

The case is Horne v. Isaacson (13-402).


Filed under: Abortion • Arizona • Supreme Court
soundoff (237 Responses)
  1. Larry L

    A population who believes the Earth to be less than 10,000 years old cannot understand the complexities of reproduction. However, they are excellent choices for politicians who want to build a political base of angry zealots without actually delivering a legislative product.

    January 13, 2014 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. Silence DoGood

    It is now based on medical science of viability based on the SCOTUS. Science. Remember science? Like many of our wise, scientific, logical, Founders of this country. Many different religions and philosophies disagree on this issue. If we base it on religion or emotion, the next strong group to emerge will sway it the other way.
    No to Theocracy. Yes to Freedom.

    January 13, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  3. al

    Why can't the government and the politicians just stay out of it?

    January 13, 2014 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. Sniffit

    ""So we can now continue to kill 5 month old babies. "

    Yes, well, that does happen to be when they're at their tastiest.
    ---–
    Your snarky comment is offensive to millions who see this in a different light than you, and to the millions of women who've agonized over such a decision."

    Go tell it on the mountain. The sarcasm and snarkiness is, in fact, a way of highlighting exactly how insulting the RWNJs are to women, particularly in the face of their disgusting, continuous accusations that people are "celebrating abortions" and that those of us who support a woman's right to make such an agonizing decision are somehow trying to increase the rate of abortions to benefit an "abortion industry" and other such crap. We're sick of it. We're not advocating abortion and would love to see it at as low a rate as possible. Rather, we're advocating the societally beneficial recognition of a woman's right to choose based on medical and practical reality. The RWNJ pastime of demonizing everyone who supports that right as a heartless baby killer deserves to be mocked and insulted with snark.

    January 13, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  5. Anthony Talbert

    "Current medical science puts that at about 24 weeks into the pregnancy."
    Well, I have been a neonatologist for over 25 years and, during that time, have been involved in the care of 23 week babies who have survived.
    "... about 24 weeks ... is indeed a true statement, BUT, and it is a large but, it ignores those who can survive at a lower gestational age. Too bad those babies don't get the same consideration from the left as do murderers and rapists!

    January 13, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. Anthony Talbert

    "Current medical science puts that at about 24 weeks into the pregnancy."
    Well, I have been a neonatologist for over 25 years and, during that time, have been involved in the care of 23 week babies who have survived.
    "... about 24 weeks ... is indeed a true statement, BUT, and it is a large but, it ignores those who can survive at a lower gestational age. Too bad those babies don't get the same consideration from the left as do criminals.

    January 13, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  7. Wendy

    tom l the biggest reason why some people do not want abortion restricted after 20 weeks is simply because its only later in the gestation that some of horrible birth defects and fetal abnormalities are actually detected. In many cases the reason for later abortions are either fetal or maternal health issues For example anencephalic (a fatal condition where fetus is stillborn or dies of cardiac arrest shortly after birth) is screened for between the 15th and the 20th week, the best time being the 16th week. If the screening comes back positive further screening must be done to confirm that there is actually a problem. If the family decides they'd rather abort the pregnancy rather than carry it to term they have the added difficulty of finding a clinic that will do abortions at that stage. If a 20 week ban was enacted; women who find themselves in such a situation would not be able to make the best choice for her and her family; and for her that may be continuing the pregnancy or it may be to terminate the pregnancy.

    January 13, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  8. Silence DoGood

    @Tom "So we can now continue to kill 5 month old babies. Wow"
    You should definitely NOT get or encourage people you know to get an abortion. But keep your moral laws out of my Freedom of Religion government.

    January 13, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  9. Common Sense

    As soon as there's another living human in your body, whether it can survive on it's own or not, the body ceases to become only "yours" and the option to abort a "right." There is now another BODY inside of you and killing it is MURDER. Also, I'm sick of hearing this "if you're not a woman, stay out of it" business. Murder is common sense, and it doesn't take a woman to see what is going on here. Our first clue that women generally know that this practice is wrong is that they always argue the exception rather than the rule. The exception argument goes something like "What about women that were raped and women whose lives are in jeopardy?" Stop deluding yourselves!

    January 13, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  10. Sniffit

    "You talk about "tasty babies" and then say "try to stay relevant"....."

    And how is it not "relevant" to respond with sarcasm to the accusations that being pro-choice means you're a heartless baby killing machine?

    January 13, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  11. MariaErics

    The Republican party: The party that cares only about unborn children, but once you are born forget it. If you are starving, living in the streets, forced to hook to survive, go to a school with little incentive to even teach you how to read and write, live in a gun-infested neighborhood where the Republican party puppet master, the NRA, has ensured guns continue to proliferate....why should they care? As far as the Republican party is concerned, it is all your own fault so suck it up.

    January 13, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  12. Silence DoGood

    @Common Sense
    As soon as there's another living human in your body, whether it can survive on it's own or not, the body ceases to become only "yours" and the option to abort a "right."
    -----------
    That is an interesting religious opinion. However we live in a country with many religions and philosophies. And the SCOTUS has ruled with viability. Instead of a country with Freedom of Religion, perhaps you can go off and start a Christian Religious Theocracy somewhere. Good luck! I plan to stay with Freedom.

    January 13, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  13. Mopery

    Historically overpopulation has been the main cause of war. GOP hawks love war. They want to ensure the next generation of uneducated impoverished youth, who will have no other choice than to join the military and fight our eternal War on "Whatever". Republicans: They only care about children before they are born.

    January 13, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  14. Robert

    Common Sense – So I take it you do not approve of state sanctioned murder, i.e., war and/or the death penalty? Killing is killing. You cannot be "pro life" and "pro war" at the same time. I sure hope you didn't swell in pride at "shock and awe," which murdered hundreds of thousands of babies, children, pregnant women, non-pregnant women, and men of every age.

    January 13, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    "This should give Republicans another major social issue on which to ride over the cliff duirng an election year. Just keep feeding them all of the rope they want. They just can't seem to get enough of it."

    Yeah... too bad for the 5 month old baby, as long as you think your "team" scores political points, right?
    ----------------------------–
    What 5 month old baby? Don't you mean 5 month old fetus? There's a significant difference between a 5 month old baby and a 5 month old fetus. Let's not blur the lines by slyly slipping in a definition of life that says it begins at conception.

    I am well aware of how the right wing talking points work, even if you might not be. They will have a debate about one thing while slipping in false assumptions and controversial assertions as if they were facts to support their argument. This is not a debate over a 5 month old baby.

    This is a debate over a 5 month old fetus, which Arizona tried to restrict to 4 months. It is a slippery slope that ends with a redefinition of life, which is beyond the scope of the SCOTUS. While you may disagree with the ruling, they were forced to rely on court precedence because ruling the other way could be viewed as legislating from the bench.

    January 13, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. AR

    once you are out of the womb...no one cares.

    January 13, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  17. AZGurl

    Until you personally adopt *multiple* children of rape, and *multiple* children known before birth to be seriously disabled mentally and physically, when they are carried to term because YOU insist it be done, you have absolutely no right to condemn women who make the difficult choice to abort. Nor should you complain about children on welfare–they were carried to term, weren't they? IT'S NOT YOUR BODY AND YOU DON'T KNOW DETAILS OF THE INDIVIDUAL SITUATIONS.

    January 13, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  18. ktfromAZ

    I agree with you common sense. The baby girl inside is also a "Woman" with rights. How else is she supposed to "start out" in this world? She is exactly perfect... Starting out like all the women that want rights to their own bodies. Motherhood begins at conception

    January 13, 2014 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  19. 'Nother-Son-'O-Ursus

    Abortion is a secular medical-surgical procedure.
    It is NOONE’s business if I/anyone else obtains one!

    If you (peacefully) disagree…
    I’ll STILL support your, (non-interference), rights to demonstrate said 13th century provincialism!

    If, on the other hand…,
    You admire, say, Scott ’50 to life’ Roeder…
    Who shot a Presbyterian usher -M.D., (ob.gyn), to death, thus demonstrating his allegedly ‘prolife’ beliefs…
    Then you, too, can obtain a tacky ‘nic-name’ like…
    ’50-to-life’!

    BTW: Did the ‘prolife-politicians who led America, Great Britain and other countries into the corporate wars in ‘Iraq, etc.’ EVER locate those imaginary N.-W.M.D.’s?
    Just wonderin’…!!

    January 13, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  20. allenwoll

    .
    " We want SMALL GOV except when it suits us to have LARGE GOV ".
    .
    " WHAT do we REALLY want ? . We will let you know when we decide ! ".
    .
    For most OTHER issues, it's hilarious ! !
    .

    January 13, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. ChrisM

    One by One the anti abortion states are going down like a sweet muffin. The Majority of Americans are sick and tired of your crap.

    January 13, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  22. Fair is Fair

    carolin

    @Tom:
    Serious or fatha birth defects can not be detected on ultrasound prior to about 20 weeks. Most, about 99%, of these late abortions are due to these defects. Most of these fetuses are very much WANTED babies and the decision to terminate the pregnancy was not easily or lightly made.
    -----–
    I think you 99% number is inflated. Aside from that, if you understood the Arizona law, you would know that fetal abnornalities, rape, incest, and peril to the mother's life are exceptions to the 20-week limitation.

    January 13, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  23. Oski

    Her body, her fetus, her choice. Nobody's decision but the woman who is pregnant. Stay out of it.

    January 13, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  24. rs

    Common Sense

    As soon as there's another living human in your body, whether it can survive on it's own or not, the body ceases to become only "yours" and the option to abort a "right." There is now another BODY inside of you and killing it is MURDER.
    ____________________
    Unfortunately, the law doesn't quite see it that way, hence the reality of Roe V. Wade and the SCOTUIS decision from that case. Rather, that is your opinion- one which you are entirely entitled to. If you don't want an abortion, certainly don't have one, but please do not try to impose your belief on a population that apparently does not agree with you.

    January 13, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  25. BT123

    Why is it acceptable that if a pregnant woman with an 8 week old baby can get in a car and head to an abortion clinic to abort her baby, and face no consequences outside of a medical fee. However, if she is hit by a drunk driver on her way to the clinic and she survives but the baby dies, that driver is charged with intoxicated manslaughter of the baby.

    You see, this logic fails. At 8 weeks, the baby's nervous system works, the brain reacts, the heart beats, feet move, fingers move and it has its own DNA.

    It scares the fire out of me that liberals argue in favor of science on any topic EXCEPT in the LIFE OF A LIVING CHILD.

    Good luck trying to explain to your grandchildren that you thought the convenience – in almost every case – of a woman's life trumped the continuation of a baby's life. They'll equate the killing of this many babies to the likes of the days of Hitler, and you'll have pushed it and supported it all along.

    January 13, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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