Arizona Asks Supreme Court to Allow Its Abortion Ban for Genetic Conditions

The state of Arizona asked the US Supreme Court on Tuesday to allow the GOP-backed law banning abortions based on genetic abnormalities of the fetus, such as Down syndrome, to go into effect.

Arizona’s Republican attorney general Mark Brnovich filed the request to Justice Elena Kagan, who handles emergency matters arising from Arizona after Arizona lost two rounds in the lower courts, where the law remains blocked.

It is the latest in a series of demands this term over the abortion restrictions crafted by GOP directed to the Supreme Court’s justices as the court weighs the fate of the decision it made in the Roe v. Wade case in 1973.

It comes less than a week after the divided justices allowed Texas’s controversial six-week abortion ban to remain intact while opening a door to challenges to be brought in federal court.

Arizona dispute stems from the enactment of S.B. 1457 signed by Gov. Doug Ducey in April, which criminalizes performing abortion asked solely due to fetal genetic abnormalities – such as Down syndrome or cystic fibrosis- unless the condition is considered lethal, which prompting legal action by a group of the Arizona Medical Association physicians and abortion rights advocates.

The law was temporarily blocked by US District Judge Douglas Rayes, an Obama appointee in Arizona, in September while the case plays out, ruling that it places an unconstitutional burden on the right to abortion before the fetus is even viable, which typically happens around 24 weeks.

San Francisco-based federal appeals court declined last month to lift Judge Rayes’ ruling, after which Brnovich filed his emergency request to the Supreme Court.

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