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

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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. Aerin



    January 13, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. ktfromAZ

    Motherhood begins at conception.
    Motherhood is a choice you make everyday, to put someone else's happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you're not sure what the right thing is...

    January 13, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. tom l

    ""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.


    I believe Fair is a woman so shouldn't her opinion trump yours based on your thought process?

    And, from reading the comments here, the only ones that appear to not take this seriously are the comments from the left. I think the hardcore right feels that the left doesn't take this seriously and thinks it's just a game. It's just my perception of things. I don't know why you feel that just because someone believes that an unborn baby is a real life means that they don't respect women. All you are doing is spreading a false equivalency there (sorry, had to) with your response that based on that thought they hate women. It's lame when you try to say things like that because it eliminates any rational discussion – but I think that's your goal anyways.

    Anywhoo, that's my thoughts. And please remember that I believe in a woman's right to choose. I find it not a place for govt to be involved but I don't think you understand nor appreciate the other side's arguments and just boil it down to ad hominem attacks rather than having a discussion.

    January 13, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  4. ktfromAZ

    What argument do you give for ending a life?

    January 13, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    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.
    I guess it depends upon your definition of survive. I believe that in this context, survive means to live without special medical equipment or assistance. I would venture that they could keep a 4 month old fetus alive if they tried hard enough.

    January 13, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  6. sly

    Thank the Good Lord Jesus that we have such a progressive President, and good new laws on abortion, health care and the rights of all Americans to marry.

    These are good times for America – the stock market is soaring, unemployment has dropped 4 percent, the economy is booming, and Obama ended the Bush Oil war.

    Good times Americans – learn to enjoy them.

    January 13, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  7. rs

    Totally, totally agree with you that this is none of my business. I have just been reading some of the comments here that appear, in my humble opinion, to be celebrating this as if it's a good thing. I find some of the comments to not take this seriously so I took the time to see what happens at 20 weeks since the ones on here that are joking and think it's funny might get a little perspective.

    But you are correct in that it is not my business if a woman chooses to get an abortion. That's all.
    At some stage my sincere hope is that abortion becomes the most under-used medical procedure possible. It truly frightens me to see and hear the politicians use the abortion issue to define a woman's right to medical care or to re-define rape in such a way that women come out third behind the "rights" of the unborn, or the rapist- and all for purely political advantage.
    Abortion, and to some extent birth control ought to be solely womens' issues, decided by women and their doctors and not politicians or religious leaders.
    Thanks for your previous thoughtful post.

    January 13, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  8. good

    Glad to here. Abortion should be safe, legal and rare.

    January 13, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  9. Donald George MacDonald

    Unwanted pregnancy is caused by unprotected sex.

    Abortion is caused by unwanted pregnancy.

    We cannot prevent unprotected sex
    but we can prevent abortions
    by making medically safe birth control
    easily and readily available to all.

    If you want abortions to continue and increase,
    then prevent the distribution and use of birth control.

    It is just as simple as that.

    January 13, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. Ann Terhune

    Thank goodness. All men need to shut up about abortion and allow women to control their own bodies. And women need to "woman up" and demand to control their own productive health. Stop being wimps.

    January 13, 2014 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  11. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    I don't see how some people can be against abortions. Our government has no problems sending young men and women off to war to die under false pretenses. Where is your weeping hearts for them?

    January 13, 2014 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  12. Steve, New York City

    Amazing how some people think that those politicians who are religious zealots, with no medical backgrounds, somehow have a strong grasp on the relevant medical factors involved in an abortion. What was the name of that imbecile from Missouri? Aiken?

    Also amazing how some of those same people believe that a politician, or some loud-mouthed drug addict talk show host like Rush Limbaugh, actually know more about global warming than climatologists.

    January 13, 2014 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  13. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    In the eye's of the pro-life movement, life begins at erection.

    January 13, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  14. sv

    I am horrified at the story of a brain dead Texas woman who at this moment is forcibly being kept alive against her own wishes just so she can remain as an incubator for a lump of tissue that may grow into a Motherless child. It's like some kind of twisted and creepy SciFi thing...only the monster here is the Texas government. Rick Perry and his ilk are not much better than Arial Castro.

    January 13, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. rs

    At some point it must be asked, why does the GOP go to the wall on this issue?
    At face value, they lose. They lost senate seats in the last election when their candidates made utterly stupid "asprin between the knees", "the female body can shut that down" kind of arguments for supporting forcining women to bear children they did not want or in rather insane attempts to re-define rape ("real rape"). Virgina went completely to the Democrats because of the GOP's "in your bedroom" approach to deeply personal behavior. A bizarre stance for a party that wants freedom for all.
    It certainly isn't morality- the GOP gleefully abuses the children of the poor, and it had better not be based only upon some set of religious values.
    If the GOP so wishes to self-describe themselves as the party so utlimately concerned with the female reproductive system, they do so at their own electoral risk- clearly they are only exciting a narrow portion of their base at the cost of the mainstream.

    January 13, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  16. Cionna

    To ktfromAZ: Are you female? If not, your opinion is moot. If you are: you should be ashamed of yourself.

    January 13, 2014 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  17. Robert

    BT – Why is it that people like you get worked up about abortions, but so many of you simultaneously approve of killing thousands of babies through bombing them in the middle of the night? Killing is killing. War kills more innocent pregnant woman, babies, and children than anything else on Earth.

    January 13, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  18. Crashman

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

    Funny, I didn't see anything in this article about killing babies. It's about abortion, which is removing a hunk of tissue from a woman. No babies are involved.

    January 13, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  19. TruthandConsequence

    Our laws are like silly puddy -- they are shaped to the taste of jurists who follow fads in social matters. The same "laws" which outlawed sodomy and did not allow abortion, now give way to "gay" marriage and abortion. They are very much driven more by the ideologies of politicians in power than by the will of the people. The "consent of the governed", so treasured at our nation's origin, which led us to rebel against the English monarch and to write and ratify a Constitution of our choice, is the real loser in the social wars. Our democratic rights to choose are overridden by judges bent on interpreting the law in a fashion which appeals to them – not to the majority.

    January 13, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  20. Greybeard


    The GOP likes to waste our tax dollars by creating laws they know won't be constitutional.

    January 13, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. istenno

    exactly, Donald George MacDonald. exactly. the way to reduce abortions is not to restrict them, but to prevent the need for them. all birth control options need to be affordable for everyone. this includes doctors visits to procure them, as well as free or very inexpensive prescriptions to get them. this is the ONLY way to reduce abortions. birth control, birth control, birth control. we need to all of us, every one of us, get on the same page about that.

    January 13, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. fekt

    Remind me again, which party has the larger number of appointments sitting on the SCOTUS?

    January 13, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  23. Donna

    What is all this left wing BS about staying out of peoples' bedrooms? The woman made her bedroom choice without any government interference months before she started creating a baby.

    Government has laws against MURDER. The question here is does that baby have a right to live and prosper to is it simply up to the mother to sentence the baby to die, just because she acted irresponsibly and now wants to use abortion as a form of birth control.

    And all this baloney about abortion being safe, legal and rare is a joke. Murdering hundreds of thoussnads of babies is NOT RARE! Many, many MILLIONS over the years. Absolutely barbaric and I would contend, not that different than cannibalism, without dinner being served.

    Wake up America. You are murdering your future.

    January 13, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "I believe Fair is a woman so shouldn't her opinion trump yours based on your thought process?"

    No. Where did I say that? I didn't. Nor have I ever said that or taken that position. In fact, I've consistently told pro-choice women who use that argument that they it's unhelpful and that they wouldn't want to alienate all the men that support their position.

    January 13, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  25. current state of the union

    Tom l. You do know that sniffit is a chick right? Or have you missed that after how long? Good lord man, take a breath, we all want a better life for the next generation, right? Let's debate each sides position and move on.

    January 13, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
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