Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Arizona Abortion Appeal

Supreme Court refuses to hear Arizona case.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer speaks at the annual Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry legislative luncheon Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, in Phoenix.
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The Supreme Court has declined to review an appeals court ruling in Arizona, which declared a ban on abortions starting at 20 weeks to be unconstitutional.

The original ruling on the law came in May 2013 when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared the law unconstitutional, claiming it violated "unalterably clear" legal precedents. It claimed the ban went against a number of Supreme Court rulings including the landmark decision Roe v. Wade.

[READ: Abortion Debate Begins in the Senate]

But other states have enacted similar laws that ban abortions after 20 weeks, although a few have been challenged in court and successfully reversed, the New York Times reports.


Opponents of abortion say the legislation was created to protect both the mother's health and prevent the fetus from feeling pain, Fox News noted. However abortion rights groups say the law was more restrictive then the abortion bans in other states because of the way Arizona measures gestation.

"A dangerous and blatantly unconstitutional law like Arizona's abortion ban should have never passed in the first place," Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said to Reuters.

[ALSO: Federal Appeals Court Reinstates Texas Abortion Provision]

The Supreme Court's refusal to hear the case means the lower court's verdict will remain.

Gov. Jan Brewer, R-Ariz., who signed the abortion ban into law in April 2012, said the law was consistent with her views on abortion.

Brewer's spokesman, Andrew Widler, said in a press conference that the Supreme Court was wrong to decline the appeal and the court's move was "a clear infringement on the authority of states to implement critical life-affirming laws," Reuters reported.

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