ARIZONA, USA — Editor's note: The above video aired during a previous broadcast.
A federal judge has ruled that abortion providers in Arizona cannot abort fetuses if the reason for the abortion is because the fetus has a genetic abnormality.
The ruling, delivered by U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Rayes on January 19, reinstates an abortion ban passed in the state in 2021. The law was originally blocked the same year it was passed, but is no longer blocked after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the right to an abortion in 2022.
Rayes, who was appointed by President Obama in 2014, ruled that because no doctors have previously had the genetic abnormality law used against them, and because the law's "Reason Regulations" clause doesn't infringe on a doctor or patient's freedom of speech, the law can stand.
"The Reason Regulations operate only when Plaintiffs take the additional step of performing, or soliciting or accepting money to finance, an abortion knowing that the patient seeks (it) because of the presence or presumed presence of a fetal genetic abnormality…all of which is conduct not speech," Rayes said.
The ruling came less than a month after a separate ruling stated that doctors can't be prosecuted under the state's 1864 near-total abortion ban because existing state law allows doctors to perform abortions "under certain circumstances."
Rayes' ruling seems to take away one of those circumstances.
See the judge's full ruling here:
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