Federal judge blocks part of Arizona’s abortion ban hours before it goes into effect

A federal judge temporarily blocked a provision in Arizona’s new abortion ban on Tuesday hours before it took effect, which would have banned abortions solely because of a diagnosis of a genetic abnormality or other fetal condition.

In the order the granting of a partial preliminary injunction against the law, Judge Douglas L. Rayes of the US District Court for the District of Arizona wrote that because physicians are required to inform patients of this provision, those who wish to “terminate their pre-viability pregnancy due to a fetal genetic abnormality “they can inevitably” hide this information or lie to their doctor, neither of which builds trust or encourages open dialogue. ”

Rayes added that “Arizona’s more abstract concern about how the public might perceive the medical profession does not outweigh the concrete harm” that the provision “would do to the doctor-patient relationship.”

However, the judge refused to grant a preliminary injunction for another part of the law that requires Fertilized fetuses, embryos and eggs will be called “persons” from the moment of conception.

Rayes, however, noted that the second provision could also eventually be considered illegal if a court determines that it has been or could be used to violate an individual’s constitutional rights.

The legal challenge to the Arizona bill enacted earlier this year by the Republican governor. Doug duceyDoug Ducey The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Alibaba – Fears of government shutdown rise as leaders investigate Dozens of Republican governors call for meeting with Biden on increasing the border White House debates air travel vaccines MORE was presented by the ACLU of Arizona on behalf of the Arizona Medical Association and a local physician, as well as several other reproductive rights groups. The Center for Reproductive Rights is the lead attorney in the case.

Emily Nestler, the center’s lead attorney, said in a statement after the judge’s order: “We are incredibly relieved that this ‘motive ban’ is being blocked while this case continues.”

“People should not be questioned about why they are seeking an abortion,” he added. “There are no right or wrong reasons.”

Ruth Harlow, senior attorney for the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, said in a statement that the ruling “is a victory for Arizonans and their ability to communicate with their doctors and access abortion care if they need it.”

“Politicians should not have the power to approve or reject our personal medical decisions and accuse doctors of serious crimes for caring for their patients,” added Harlow.

Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, which supported the measure, said in a statement that the group’s leaders “remain confident that the law will be respected and deemed enforceable in its entirety,” according to NPR Arizona Public Media member station.

The Hill has reached out to the Arizona attorney general’s office for comment.

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