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9th U.S. Circuit: Doctors allowed to Arizona challenge abortion law

By Greg Hahne
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Published: Monday, October 30, 2023 - 2:49pm
Updated: Tuesday, October 31, 2023 - 7:16am

A decision filed Monday by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allows a group of Arizona doctors to challenge a state law banning abortions sought for fetal genetic disorders.

The decision paves the way for a trial.

The appellate panel said the doctors have legal standing because there is a credible threat they could end up being prosecuted over the 2021 state law.

That law made it a class 6 felony, with possible prison time, for a doctor to terminate a pregnancy if the mother seeks the procedure solely due to genetic abnormalities. 

Attorneys for the doctors argue the law's language, such as what constitutes a fetal abnormality, is vague 

The appellate judges have not addressed whether there is a constitutional right to an abortion, but acknowledged the potential harm to doctors.

Politics Abortion