Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down Arizona Ban On Abortions After 18 Weeks Of Pregnancy

A federal appeals court struck down an Arizona law Tuesday that bans most abortions in that state after 18 weeks of pregnancy. The three-judge panel said the law violates a woman's constitutional right to end a pregnancy before a fetus can survive outside the womb -- typically 24 weeks.

The New York Times: Arizona Law On Abortions Struck Down As Restrictive
A federal appellate panel struck down Arizona's abortion law on Tuesday, saying it was unconstitutional "under a long line of invariant Supreme Court precedents" that guarantee a woman's right to end a pregnancy any time before a fetus is deemed viable outside her womb -- generally at 24 weeks. The law, enacted in April 2012 despite vociferous protest by women's and civil rights groups, made abortions illegal if performed 20 weeks after a woman's last menstrual period, or roughly 18 weeks after fertilization, even if the woman learned that the fetus had no chance of surviving after birth (Santos, 5/21).

The Wall Street Journal: Appeals Court Strikes Down Arizona Abortion Law
Arizona is among a number of states that have tried to restrict the practice in recent months, while other states have weighed laws that would strengthen abortion rights. For instance, a bill recently proposed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, would expand women's access to late-term abortions (Jones, 5/21).

The Associated Press/Los Angeles Times: Arizona Abortion Ban Struck Down
A three-judge panel of the court said the law violated a woman's constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy before a fetus can survive outside the womb. "Viability" is generally considered to begin at 24 weeks. Normal pregnancies run about 40 weeks (5/21).

A planned new Planned Parenthood encounters roadblocks in Louisiana --

The Associated Press: Legislation Targets New Planned Parenthood Clinic
Lawmakers are looking for ways to create roadblocks for Planned Parenthood's construction of a new facility in New Orleans that would provide abortions in addition to other health care services for women. Planned Parenthood doesn't currently operate an abortion clinic in Louisiana (Deslatte, 5/21).

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