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Posted on: May 21, 2013

County Attorney Comments on 20-Week Abortion Law Ruling

PHOENIX, AZ (May 21, 2013) – Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery issued the following statement in response to today’s ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denying the Arizona legislature from prohibiting abortions after twenty weeks of gestation:

“The ruling is disappointing in that it permits the Kermit Gosnells of the country to continue their grisly operations under legal protection while denying Arizona the ability to protect expectant mothers and their children in the womb.”

“While the Ninth Circuit Opinion states its reliance on current United States Supreme Court precedent, the Opinion fails to acknowledge that the collision course Justice O’Connor noted Roe was on is coming to the point of impact. Likewise, the Opinion did not fairly address the fact that current maternal and fetal medical evidence has pushed viability past the tipping point where the balance of interests is now in favor of states’ protecting mothers and babies.”

“Nonetheless, the Opinion provides the United States Supreme Court with the opportunity to recognize advances in maternal and fetal medicine far from the day on which Roe v. Wade was originally decided. Judge Kleinfeld's concurrence underscores the irrational line of ‘viability’ as a standard that can permit the destruction of a child one week or be the reason for charging the murder of another child the next week.”

“Given the compelling and important interest Arizona has in protecting the health and well-being of expectant mothers from the dangers of abortions after 20 weeks and to protect children in the womb from needless and horrific imposition of pain, we will seek review from the United States Supreme Court. If the 9th Circuit cannot permit Arizona to act because of Supreme Court precedent, then the Supreme Court must change that precedent.”

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