Supreme Court Rejects Arizona's Attempt To Revive Law Banning Most Abortions After 20 Weeks

9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals halted implementation of the law after it was signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer


WASHINGTON–The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned away Arizona's bid to revive a state law that would have banned most abortions after a woman's pregnancy reached 20 weeks.

The state law, signed by Gov. Jan Brewer in April 2012, would have barred abortions past the 20-week mark except in cases of medical emergencies. The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stepped in and blocked enforcement of the abortion restrictions before they went into effect.

A U.S. trial judge in Arizona originally upheld the law. But a three-judge appeals panel said a line of Supreme Court rulings dating from the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision made clear that a state "simply cannot proscribe a woman from choosing to obtain an abortion before the fetus is viable," which generally happens around the 24th week of gestation.

The Supreme Court left the lower court ruling in place without offering any comment on the case, issuing a brief one-line order denying Arizona's request for the high court to review its law.