mostlycloudy
Sunday August 30th, 2015 8:38PM

Court won't revive Arizona's 20-week abortion ban

By The Associated Press
PHOENIX (AP) -- The Supreme Court on Monday rejected Arizona's attempt to implement a ban on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, a development that doesn't disturb most of the similar prohibitions that other states have on the books.

The justices declined to reconsider a federal appeals court's ruling that the Arizona law violates a woman's constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy before a fetus is able to survive outside the womb.

"Viability" of a fetus is generally considered to start at 24 weeks. Normal pregnancies run about 40 weeks.

Gov. Jan Brewer signed the ban into law in April 2012. Nine other states have enacted similar bans starting at 20 weeks or even earlier.

In its ruling last year, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said such bans violate a long string of Supreme Court rulings starting with the seminal Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.

However, most other states' 20-week bans haven't been challenged in court, and the 9th Circuit's ruling is binding only in its nine-state territory, which also includes Idaho.

Other states with 20-week bans include Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas. The Kansas ban technically starts at 22-weeks, but the state starts counting the point of conception from an earlier point.

Georgia's ban has been enjoined on state constitutional grounds, said Janet Crepps, a lawyer for the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Texas enacted its 20-week ban as part of a 2013 abortion law. Opponents have challenged the Texas law's requirement that abortion doctors have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals but not the 20-week ban.

Supporters of the Arizona ban argued that it protected women's health and prevented fetuses from experiencing pain. Whether fetuses can feel pain before viability is disputed.

Supporters of the Arizona ban expressed disappointment, frustration and determination.

"Often it takes multiple times before the U.S. Supreme Court will take an issue," said Cathi Herod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy. "This fight is far, far from over."

Bill Montgomery, an Arizona prosecutor who defended the Arizona ban in federal court, said opponents haven't challenged most of the 20-week bans because they want to avoid a split of circuit court rulings that could prompt the Supreme Court to consider issue.

With a split, "it makes it easier to justify the court's use of resources and get involved because then you literally have one part of the country under one set of laws and another part under a different law," Montgomery said.

Crepps said other states' bans generally haven't been challenged because there weren't doctors whose practices would be affected and who were willing to fight the issue in court.

The Supreme Court won't review a lower court ruling overturning pre-viability ban unless and until it is willing to make a fundamental shift on abortion law, Crepps said. "The Supreme Court has said it and resaid it and said it again that the state cannot prohibit women from getting an abortion prior to viability."
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 7 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 7 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 7 months ago )
U.S. News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 7 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 7 months ago )
Local/State News
Committee leaves transportation funding to lawmakers
Georgia will have to cover a $1 billion to $1.5 billion transportation funding gap to stay economically competitive, a committee of lawmakers is warning in a report issued Tuesday.
5:36AM ( 7 months ago )
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 8 months ago )
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 8 months ago )
Politics
Police investigate motive of man accused of ambushing Texas officer at gas station
HOUSTON (AP) — The man charged with capital murder in the fatal shooting of a uniformed suburban Houston sheriff's deputy had a lengthy criminal record going back a decade, but never spent more than s...
7:57PM ( 40 minutes ago )
Common Core test results trickle in, but goal of comparing among states goes unfulfilled
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Results for some of the states that participated in Common Core-aligned testing for the first time this spring are out, with overall scores higher than expected though still below w...
8:42AM ( 11 hours ago )
Hawaii's Big Island under tropical storm watch as Ignacio is upgraded to Category 4 hurricane
HONOLULU (AP) — The Big Island of Hawaii is bracing for high winds, heavy rain and ocean swells of up to 20 feet as strengthening Hurricane Ignacio approaches the state.Ignacio has grown to a Category...
8:20PM ( 1 day ago )
At events both somber and raucous, Gulf Coast marks 10th Katrina anniversary, looks to future
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — As the church bells rang marking the decade since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, the 80-year-old woman wept softly into a tissue as she leaned against her rusting Oldsmobi...
6:38PM ( 1 day ago )
US immigration patterns shift: India, China outpacing Mexico as more skilled workers arrive
DALLAS (AP) — Siddharth Jaganath wanted to return to India after earning his master's degree at Texas' Southern Methodist University. Instead, he built a new life in the U.S. over a decade, becoming a...
6:03PM ( 1 day ago )