Arizona doctors cannot abort fetuses due to genetic abnormalities

The ruling eliminates one of the “certain circumstances” for which doctors in the state can perform abortions.

Arizona, United States — Editor’s Note: The video above was aired during a previous broadcast.

A federal judge has ruled that Arizona abortion providers cannot abort a fetus if the reason for the abortion is that the fetus has a genetic abnormality.

The ruling, handed down Jan. 19 by US District Court Judge Douglas Rayes, reinstates a 2021 state ban on abortion. The law was originally blocked the same year it was passed, but will no longer be blocked after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned abortion rights in 2022.

Rayes, appointed by President Obama in 2014, ruled that because no doctor had previously used the Genetic Abnormalities Act against themselves, and because the law’s “Reason Regulations” clause does not violate a doctor’s or patient’s freedom of speech, the law can stand.

“The Reason Regulations apply only if Plaintiffs take the additional step of performing an abortion or soliciting or accepting money to finance it, knowing that the patient, because of the presence or suspected presence of a fetal genetic abnormality, desires… which is all the case is behavior rather than talk,” Rayes said.

The ruling came less than a month after a separate ruling found that under the state’s near-total abortion ban in 1864, doctors cannot be prosecuted because existing state law allows doctors to perform abortions “in certain circumstances.”

Rayes’ verdict appears to remove one of those circumstances.

CONTINUE READING: Court: Abortion doctors cannot be charged under Arizona law

See the judge’s full ruling here:

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