Attorneys general for 23 states have filed an amicus brief asking the Ninth Circuit court to uphold its block on an Arizona law that restricts abortion because of a genetic prenatal diagnosis, such as Down syndrome or cystic fibrosis. The law, SB 1457, was signed by Governor Doug Ducey in April and was slated to go into effect on September 29, but was blocked in the courts after a challenge by the Center for Reproductive Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union.
“The decision to terminate a pregnancy before viability is a personal choice and is protected under the law,” said California Attorney General Ray Bonta, who filed the brief. “Unconstitutional laws like Arizona’s reason ban have the potential to impact millions of Americans, including Californians who choose to visit, work, or go to school in the state. Using the law to take away a constitutional right from people who are already making a tremendously complex choice cannot stand. My office has and will continue to oppose this ban and others like it.”
New York Attorney General Leticia James also weighed in. “Almost 50 years after Roe was decided, reproductive freedoms remain under constant assault,” she said. “Arizona is just the latest in the long line of conservative-led states that are seeking to impose their will on millions of women with laws that aim to control our bodies, our choices, and our freedoms, but we will never stop fighting them. We’re asking the appeals court to uphold the lower court’s decision and strike down this unconstitutional law.”
For its part, Arizona is currently fighting to put the law back into effect. Earlier this month, its attorney general, Mark Brnovich, filed a request to the Supreme Court asking it to allow the abortion restrictions to stand. Brnovich said that the law was designed to prevent “coercive health practices that encourage” people to abort after receiving a prenatal diagnosis, and to guard “the integrity and ethics of the medical profession by preventing doctors from becoming witting participants in genetic-abnormality-selective abortions.”
In the brief, the coalition also argues that “dispelling discriminatory views about persons with disabilities need not come at the expense of women’s reproductive rights.” But however these states try and frame the argument, their idea of women’s reproductive rights comes at the cost of an innocent preborn human being. It’s impossible to tell a woman that her child’s disabilities do not diminish his worth, while at the same time telling her that she can kill her child because of his disabilities.
The coalition filing the brief included attorneys general from Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
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