Pro-abortionists take Arizona’s sweeping pro-life legislation to court

By Dave Andrusko

The circle of life—we pass pro-life legislation—is virtually inevitably followed by an attempted circle of death—pro-abortionists go hunting for a sympathetic judge to put the law on hold while they challenge the law.

So it was, again, yesterday, this time in Arizona.

As NRL News Today reported, on April 27, Doug Ducey, the pro-life governor of Arizona. signed SB1457. It is an extremely comprehensive law that among many other provisions forbids abortionists from taking an unborn child’s life because the child has been prenatally diagnosed with a genetic anomaly, most often Down syndrome. 

“There’s immeasurable value in every single life — regardless of genetic makeup,” said Gov.  Ducey said at the time. “We will continue to prioritize protecting life in our preborn children, and this legislation goes a long way in protecting real human lives. My sincere thanks to Senator Nancy Barto for her leadership and work on this life-saving issue.”

Yesterday, a coalition of abortionists and abortion advocates filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, seeking a “preliminary injunction before the measures take effect on September 29, 2021,” according to the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) which along with the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Arizona is representing the groups.  

SB 1457 has multiple pro-life provisions. The one that has received the most attention is the one that makes it a felony for abortionists to knowingly perform an abortion because the child has been prenatally diagnosed with a genetic anomaly, most often Down syndrome, “appears headed for passage.” (Arizona already prohibits abortions because of an unborn baby’s race or sex.)

Bills banning abortion because of genetic anomaly, race, and/or gender have passed in seventeen states.

In addition, to name just four other provisions, the law prohibits abortion drugs from being sent through the mails (making dangerous “Do It Yourself” abortions possible), bans the spending of any state money toward organizations that provide abortion, requires a burial or cremation of the remains of an aborted baby, and a legislative declaration that Arizona laws recognize that an unborn child has “all rights, privileges and immunities available to other persons, citizens and residents of this state.” 

The lawsuit challenges two. 

First, what the CRR calls the “reason ban” —“whenever the providing physician knows that the abortion is due to ‘a genetic abnormality.’”

Second the recognition in Arizona law that an unborn child has “all rights, privileges and immunities available to other persons, citizens and residents of this state” which the CRR charges is a “Personhood Provision.”

“Politicians should not get to decide what is an acceptable reason for seeking an abortion,” said Emily Nestler, senior counsel at CRR, in a released statement. “Patients are the ones best suited to decide what is best for themselves and their families, in consultation with their health care providers.”

Background

Passage was always going to be precarious. Each of the two houses of the legislature is almost exactly divided evenly among pro-abortion Democrats and pro-life Republicans.  Eventual passage is a great credit to the Republican leadership and to Gov. Ducey.

 “With this legislation, Arizona remains among the top pro-life states in the nation,” Governor Ducey’s Office said in a news release.

To which state Sen. Barto added, “We need to protect our most vulnerable, especially those with treatable genetic conditions. They are loved, integral members of our community that make Arizona whole — and I’m proud to sponsor legislation that gives them a voice before they’re even born. Thank you, Governor Ducey, for signing Senate Bill 1457.”