High court rejects review of Arizona's 20-week abortion ban
January 13th, 2014
09:40 AM ET
6 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. skarphace

    XYZ: "The problem with abortion is that it has been decided rather dubiously by the courts instead of through the Democratic process."

    Well, that is because it is a Consti tutional issue, which must therefore be decided in the courts, "dubiously" or not.

    January 13, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Donna wrote:

    So you would be fine with killing a full term baby just before it it is born? A baby that would live just fine outside the womb. And you don't think THAT is MURDER?? It is breath taking how absolutely barbaric some people in this country have become.
    ----------------------------
    You do realize that you're having an argument against yourself, right? You're arguing your side of the argument by injecting remarks, comments, and opinions that you manufacture as if someone else had said them.

    January 13, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "Pro-life can be pro women, too"

    I know that's the popular GOP/Teatroll smokescreen right now, tom, but the facts just don't support it. Shutting down all but 5 abortion clinics in the state of TX while hiding behind the unsupportable argument that it's "protecting women's health" by requiring clinics to have admitting privileges and be equipped like a full hospital emergency room, despite the entire medical industry saying that none of it is necessary...that belies the claim.

    January 13, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. Silence DoGood

    @ktfromAZ
    It does come down to your faith and beliefs. If you are your own "Almighty" you will have no problem with anything at all in this Life. Hence, the direction this country is taking...by taking God out of everything from Schools to Christmas...
    ----------
    Very convenient if all you see is your religion and atheist. I hate to make your mind explode but I am liberal and I believe in God. BTW the Founding Fathers started this country without God on the money, no pledge of allegiance, and strict separation of Religion from Law, no crosses on the federal building, or flag. Let's keep it that way.
    “The Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”
    ~1797 Treaty of Tripoli signed by John Adams

    January 13, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  5. skarphace

    tom l: "Pro-life can be pro women, too."

    I don't agree with that, as being pro-life means being in favor of laws that restrict a woman to make these decisions herself, instead leaving that decision to legislators on Capital Hill who have never even met the woman in question. While I don't agree that abortions should be another form of birth control, I feel very strongly that the decision whether or not to have an abortion should be between the woman who is pregnant, her family, and her doctor. Government officials should have no place in the discussions.

    January 13, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  6. Silence DoGood

    No to Theocracy! Yes to Freedom!
    “I am for freedom of religion and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another.”
    ~Thomas Jefferson, letter to Elbridge Gerry, January 26, 1799

    January 13, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  7. paintpaintpaint

    I was very anti-abortion when I was young, as the world was black and white. As I grew older I became very understanding of the reasons some women need abortions. I could go on forever, listing them. As I held my last baby in my arms for the first time a very protective (of her) rage built up in me and I vowed to fight to protect her right to have, or not have children as she chose. At any time, a mother's life comes first. Then her health, both mental and physical. Men – but OUT of this conversation, as you are not the ones who have to live with the choices. You do not get to weigh in. Men can walk away from a pregnant woman (and many, many do), or you can later leave the child and mother (as many do) and make them fight for food and shelter and education. AZ needs to protect their female citizens.

    January 13, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  8. Mitch

    Just don't ask for child support if you cannot take care of the baby.

    January 13, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  9. paintpaintpaint

    ETA: butt out, not but out.

    January 13, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    ktfromAZ

    It does come down to your faith and beliefs. If you are your own "Almighty" you will have no problem with anything at all in this Life. Hence, the direction this country is taking...by taking God out of everything from Schools to Christmas...

    Society continually seeks to devalue the lives of the unborn, creating its own definitions of humanity based on distorted views of morality. But the undeniable fact is that life begins at creation, and a human is created as soon as he or she is conceived. God is present at our creation; He is, in fact, our Creator. Our value as human beings created in His image is conceived even before we are.
    -----------------------------
    I suggest you go read the 1st Amendment. It outlines freedom OF religion for the people, and freedom FROM religion for the government. Be aware of the fact that freedom of religion also guarantees others freedom FROM your religion just as much as it guarantees you freedom FROM other religions telling you how to live your life.

    Be aware that your religious beliefs only go as far as the property line of your establishment of religion. Be aware that you imposing your religious beliefs upon others is not an expression of your religious freedom. Rather it would be a demonstration of your suppression of the religious freedoms of others.

    January 13, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  11. Kevin

    Tom I:
    "So very true and I heartily agree. Pro-life can be pro women, too. There is no absolutism, as you rightly pointed out."

    =====

    I don't agree. Where "pro-choice" actually means what it says – you are pro (in favor of) a woman's right to choose, "pro-life" is a polite euphemism for "I think the rights of the unborn supersede the rights of the potential mother", which is totally different. "Pro-life" exists as a term so that people who don't agree with its draconian philosophy can get labeled as "anti-life". It's the Patriot Act, for abortion.

    Saying "I'm pro-life and pro women" is like saying "I'm pro black people, but still think Jim Crow had the right idea."

    January 13, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  12. rr

    Abortion is legal, period. Get over it.

    January 13, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  13. Silence DoGood

    @Rudy NYC
    ktfromAZ

    It does come down to your faith and beliefs. If you are your own "Almighty" you will have no problem with anything at all in this Life. Hence, the direction this country is taking...by taking God out of everything from Schools to Christmas...

    Society continually seeks to devalue the lives of the unborn, creating its own definitions of humanity based on distorted views of morality. But the undeniable fact is that life begins at creation, and a human is created as soon as he or she is conceived. God is present at our creation; He is, in fact, our Creator. Our value as human beings created in His image is conceived even before we are.
    ---------–
    I suggest you go read the 1st Amendment. It outlines freedom OF religion for the people, and freedom FROM religion for the government. Be aware of the fact that freedom of religion also guarantees others freedom FROM your religion just as much as it guarantees you freedom FROM other religions telling you how to live your life.

    Be aware that your religious beliefs only go as far as the property line of your establishment of religion. Be aware that you imposing your religious beliefs upon others is not an expression of your religious freedom. Rather it would be a demonstration of your suppression of the religious freedoms of others.
    -----------
    Well said but remember that the Radical Right is not interested in religious freedom, they want religious domination.
    I actually heard Palin on a religious news segment be moaning the imaginary War on Christianity and then commenting very negatively on the FIRST Mosque being built in a some city with many christian churches. That doesn't sound like freedom to me.

    January 13, 2014 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    SilenceDoGood posted:

    “If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.”
    ~George Washington, letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789
    “The Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”
    ~1797 Treaty of Tripoli signed by John Adams
    -------------------------
    Silence did well.

    January 13, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    tom I – if you're going to continue to insist you are "pro-choice" you should quit posting any future comments on the subject. Your recent arguments have a"pro-life" bias coming through.

    January 13, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  16. Mariel

    Unfortunately, the people who are most opposed to abortion and contraception are the very same people who are equally opposed to providing any help to babies and children. I do not understand at all how they can justify this. Obviously, their concern is not with the future well-being of the fetuses.

    January 13, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  17. skarphace

    paintpaintpaint: "Men – but OUT of this conversation, as you are not the ones who have to live with the choices. You do not get to weigh in."

    Unfortunately, we men have the same vote as you women do. That being said, there are many men who are pro-choice (such as myself). There are also many women who are pro-life. It isn't merely an case of men vs. women. On the contrary, it is a case of individual rights vs. State rights.

    Ironically, the far-right who pride themselves in being pro-individual rights are pro-State when it suits them, as is the case with abortion and gay marriage, for example.

    January 13, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  18. jack

    If the "pro life" position included support for universal health care instead of losing interest in the life of a baby as soon as it is born, I could take it seriously.

    January 13, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  19. skarphace

    Bottom line: who should make the choice whether or not an individual woman should get an abortion, people in Government or the woman and whoever else she decides to confide in (her family, her doctor, her priest, her therapist, etc.)? Pro-life means pro-big government. Pro-choice means pro-individual rights.

    January 13, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  20. ktfromAZ

    Silence DoGood ~ You believe in your own definition of God. As a Christian, I believe in the God of the bible, which states "Thou shalt not murder"

    RUDY NYC~ God's court is the highest of the land..

    You will never convince me that government is higher than my God...As a Christian, there are rules to follow.
    If you don't believe...do as you will.

    Motherhood begins at conception.
    When you become a Mother~ that child is your life.
    I have raised four children, I didn't ever turn my back on them..I gave them my milk and my money...willingly
    Unselfishly
    I have 2 degrees Journalism and Elem Education
    That's what Mamas do.
    Your child's needs become higher than yours.
    You signed up for that as a consenting adult~ and hopefully in marriage.

    January 13, 2014 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  21. skarphace

    For those advocating that the Government should decide for a woman whether or not she should get an abortion, let me pose a related question: would you be in favor of the Government making this decision if the government decided the opposite, as they do in China? If the government decided that women must get an abortion in order to prevent them from having more than two children, would you be in favor of that as well?

    If you leave this decision up to the Government, then eventually this will be the case. Be careful what you wish for.

    January 13, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. ktfromAZ

    As a Republican, Im in favor of helping cradle to grave.

    January 13, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. Eric

    "hunk of tissue? just doesn't get anymore more callous than this people." – A "5 month old baby" would be one that has already been born and has lived for 5 months. A "5 month old fetus" is something completely different.

    There is a point, somewhere along the 9 month process, where a single cell develops into a human being deserving of equal rights. That's not 1 millisecond after the egg is fertilized and it's not 1 millisecond after the mother gives birth. It's somewhere in between those two points, and anti-choice groups constantly want to push that point in time farther and father back, and some extremists like Rick Santorum would even want to push that all the way to before impregnation so that you can't use birth control at all.

    January 13, 2014 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  24. radar8

    The "pro-life" stance of the GOP is nothing more than a political ploy. The GOP uses the whole abortion argument to make sure that a large portion of the christians vote for the GOP. I have friends that tell me they have to vote GOP because of that one issue. I ask them why it's OK to bomb hundreds of thousands of people out of existance, Isn't that anti-life?

    Many in the GOP quietly have had abortions and most use, or have used, birth control. They're a bunch of hypocrits that say whatever they have to to win. The Dems, on the other side do similar things on other issues.

    January 13, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  25. sarabethany

    I oppose the 20-week ban because most genetic testing (via amniocentesis) can't be done until 15-18 weeks. If there is a severe or fatal genetic disease, it could take a couple more weeks to get the results back, make a decision, and schedule an abortion. By then, it might be too late to do the abortion. So the state is basically forcing couples to carry to term a fetus that will just suffer and die, sometimes immediately after birth. Because pro-life.

    January 13, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
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