ARIZONA, USA — Editor's note: The above video aired during a previous broadcast.
A federal judge has blocked a key portion of a new Arizona law that would have let prosecutors bring felony charges against doctors who knowingly terminate pregnancies solely because the fetuses have a genetic abnormality such as Down syndrome.
Judge Douglas Rayes also threw out another provision that would have let prosecutors bring charges against anyone who helped raise money or pay for an abortion done solely because of genetic abnormality.
The judge said the law’s criminal provisions were likely unconstitutionally vague, explaining it’s unclear at what point in the process a doctor can be deemed to be aware that fetal genetic abnormality exists.
The ruling comes a week after the Center for Reproductive Rights delivered oral arguments in federal court to explain why the organization believes a state law passed earlier this year inhibits women from seeking an abortion.
"The ban’s reporting requirements further chill health care providers’ speech with patients and compel speech with law enforcement by requiring any counselor or medical or mental health professional to disclose known violations of the Reason Ban to law enforcement or suffer a fine of up to $10,000," the lawsuit states.
In April, Gov. Doug Ducey signed Senate Bill 1457, which prohibits pregnant women from seeking an abortion solely because the fetus appears to have a genetic abnormality.
In response to the law's passage, the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit in August to stop Arizona from enforcing its new rules.
The plaintiffs are arguing Arizona's law violates the constitutional rights of patients and medical providers by compelling women to disclose their reasoning to obtain an abortion.
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