Judge blocks Arizona law that would have given civil rights to unborn children

A federal judge struck down an Arizona personhood law that would have given civil rights to unborn children, a ruling that could end up before the Supreme Court.

U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Rayes ruled against the law, calling it unconstitutionally vague.

Too vague?

“A law is unconstitutionally vague if its application is so unclear that people of ordinary intelligence cannot figure out in advance how to comply with it,” Rayes said.

“When the punitive and regulatory weight of the entire Arizona code is involved, Plaintiffs should not have to guess at whether their conduct is on the right or the wrong side of the law,” he added.

The current situation

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has said “a ban on abortions after 15 weeks that he signed in March takes precedence over the pre-1901 law Brnovich said is in effect.”

NBC News also reported, “There were just over 13,000 abortions in Arizona in 2020, according to the most recent report from the Arizona Department of Health Services. Of those, fewer than 650 were performed after 15 weeks of gestation.”

The new ruling may have halted Arizona’s most ambitious law, but the state now has a 15-week ban in place that is expected to reduce abortions.

The new effort may also lead to further actions to pursue civil rights laws on behalf of the unborn in a new focus after the overturn of Roe v. Wade.

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