Court Strikes Down Arizona's 20-Week Abortion Ban
A federal court in San Francisco on Tuesday struck down Arizona's ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, AP reports. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the law violates a string of U.S. Supreme Court rulings, starting with Roe v. Wade, that guarantee a woman's right to an abortion before a baby is able to survive outside the womb -- generally considered to be about 24 weeks. Several states have enacted similar bans starting at 20 weeks, but the 9th Circuit's ruling is binding only in the nine states under the county's jurisdiction. Idaho is the only other state with a similar ban in the region covered by the 9th Circuit. A trial judge had ruled that the ban could take effect, saying it was constitutional partly because of concerns about women's health and fetal pain, but abortion-rights groups appealed that decision, saying the 20-week ban would not give some women enough time to decide whether to abort. The ban included an exception for medical emergencies.