20-week abortion ban heads to appeals court

October 31, 2012

An Arizona law that criminalizes providing an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy will go before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals next week in San Francisco. It is one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country.

JUDE JOFFE-BLOCK: Three Arizona OB/GYNs are challenging the law. They argue banning abortions after 20 weeks is unconstitutional and will have consequences for women's health. Attorney Janet Crepps is with the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York, and will argue the case against the law on Monday.

JANET CREPPS: It ignores clear Supreme Court rulings that say women have the right to make decisions about their pregnancies up until the point in pregnancy that viability is reached

JOFFE-BLOCK: That's the point at which a fetus could survive outside the womb, and most agree that's reached around 23 or 24 weeks. Defenders of the law say the ban will prevent fetal pain and complications. A lower court upheld the law in July, but the Ninth Circuit blocked it from taking effect while it is being appealed.

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