Supreme Court Lets Stand a Ruling That Permits Female Prisoners Access to Abortion Services

The American Civil Liberties Union is applauding today's decision by the Supreme Court not to review a lower court's ruling that a prison in Maricopa County, Ariz., did not have the right to restrict female prisoners' access to abortion.

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The American Civil Liberties Union is applauding today's decision by the Supreme Court not to review a lower court's ruling that a prison in Maricopa County, Ariz., did not have the right to restrict female prisoners' access to abortion. "Today's announcement puts an end to Maricopa County prison officials' blatant disregard for the law and failure to ensure that prisoners get the healthcare they feel they need," said Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of the ACLU of Arizona. The Supreme Court's ruling was a blow to antiabortion forces and Joe Arpaio, the sheriff in charge of the Maricopa County Jail who has grown a national reputation for his hard-line stances. In the case, the ACLU argued that prison officials did not have the right to decide whether a woman could have an abortion, building on the success of a similar case in Missouri earlier this year.

—Bret Schulte