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Arizona Defends Its Restrictive Abortion Ban Because Fetal Birth Defects Are ‘The Woman’s Problem’
by _Kissy_
November 16, 2012 at 10:31 PM

A federal appeals court panel on Mondayconsidered Arizona’s stringent abortion ban, which has the distinction of being the most restrictive in the nation because it criminalizes almost all abortions after just 20 weeks. Arizona already bans abortion after viability — which is generally considered to occur around week 23 or 24 of pregnancy — but the bill in question would go even further, redefining gestation in a way that would ban abortion at least two weeks before other states do, potentially as early as week 18.

The judges on the panel questioned HB 2036′s potential to harm the women who do not realize the medical risks of their pregnancies until after the arbitrary cut-off, when they are no longer permitted to seek abortions. But Arizona officials brushed aside those concerns, saying that those medical emergencies are “the woman’s problem”:

Judge Andrew Kleinfeld, a panel member appointed by former President George H.W. Bush, repeatedly expressed concern that the law might not afford women the opportunity to abort a fetus with birth defects in cases where the defects are not apparent until just before 20 weeks.

He also questioned the need to prohibit abortions at that stage of the pregnancy, especially for fetuses bound to develop “horrible birth defects.”

“They’re basically born into hell and then die,” Kleinfeld said. “I don’t see how the courts could act before viability” of the fetus.

“With due respect, that’s the woman’s problem,” responded David Cole, Arizona’s solicitor general. “She should have made that decision earlier.”

However, in some cases, women cannot actually make that decision earlier because it is too difficult to detect fetal abnormalities before the medically accepted point of viability. And the American Civil Liberties Union, which is suing Arizona to block HB 2036 from going into effect,told Reuters that Arizona’s ban has a “truly, horrifically narrow” medical exception that will prevent many women from getting abortions even when it is medically necessary for them to end a pregnancy. Even though about 100 pregnancies are terminated after 20 weeks in Arizona each year, the law would criminally prosecute the doctors who perform abortion services after the cut-off.

The three-judge panel has yet to make a final ruling. A federal judge upheld HB 2036 at the end of July, but a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel temporarily blocked the law from going into effect just a few days later so that the court could more fully consider the case.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/06/us-usa-abortion-arizona-idUSBRE8A503420121106?

Replies

  • SallyMJ
    by SallyMJ
    November 16, 2012 at 11:12 PM


    Just a clarification: Judge Andrew Kleinfeld is part of the federal appeals court, does not represent Arizona.

    The Reuters article states this bill uses the time frame of 20 weeks, not 18 weeks, as mentioned here. The youngest gestational age person who has survived in America was born at 20 weeks. That is why Arizona is using this time frame. They are erring on the side of viability. It would be very bizarre to have two babies at 20 weeks: one is born and cared for in the NICU, the other is aborted and dumped in the trash.

    The other US laws were written a long time ago when the age of viability was a lot higher - before NICUs could take care of such young preemies.

    I don't think it's a bad idea to err on the side of life. And Arizona's laws are not unreasonable, even though the date is earlier - which again, is based on the age of viability today. 


  • jaxTheMomm
    November 16, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    What is your source for youngest gestational age of fetus to be viable and survive birth? 

    Quoting SallyMJ:


    Just a clarification: Judge Andrew Kleinfeld is part of the federal appeals court, does not represent Arizona.

    The Reuters article states this bill uses the time frame of 20 weeks, not 18 weeks, as mentioned here. The youngest gestational age person who has survived in America was born at 20 weeks. That is why Arizona is using this time frame. They are erring on the side of viability. It would be very bizarre to have two babies at 20 weeks: one is born and cared for in the NICU, the other is aborted and dumped in the trash.

    The other US laws were written a long time ago when the age of viability was a lot higher - before NICUs could take care of such young preemies.

    I don't think it's a bad idea to err on the side of life. And Arizona's laws are not unreasonable, even though the date is earlier - which again, is based on the age of viability today. 



  • Bek22
    by Bek22
    November 17, 2012 at 5:11 AM
    My son was in the NICU and his little roommate was born at just 23 weeks and absolutely precious. She ended up being just fine. I try to avoid the whole abortion discussion, but if a person thinks aborting a child of this age is okay, something is terribly wrong.
  • Ashley_Carlson
    November 17, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    It's better and more merciful than forcing a child with catastrophic birth defects to wither away and die in agony.

    Quoting Bek22:

    My son was in the NICU and his little roommate was born at just 23 weeks and absolutely precious. She ended up being just fine. I try to avoid the whole abortion discussion, but if a person thinks aborting a child of this age is okay, something is terribly wrong.


  • shimamab
    November 17, 2012 at 8:44 AM
    I don't have a prob with the 20 week cut off, but trying to set conception dates back two weeks is bs. Also, whenever fatal defects are found, I think the kindest route should be taken. Whether that's termination as early as possible or birth should be decided by doctors and patients, not govt.
  • Bek22
    by Bek22
    November 17, 2012 at 9:10 AM
    Quoting Ashley_Carlson:


    If her mother would have taken the advice of doctors and aborted her daughter, she wouldn't have a precious little girl today.
  • NancSBRN
    November 17, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    I think everyone can agree that abortion should not be used as bith control. But I think the Government should not decide medical decisions a woman should decide with the help of her Doctors to do. 


  • D.O.E.
    by D.O.E.
    November 17, 2012 at 2:52 PM

     

    Incidence of Late Term Abortions 

    The Canadian Medical Association's abortion policy defines abortion as the active termination of 

    a pregnancy up to 20 weeks of gestation (Canadian Medical Association, Policy on Induced 

    Abortion, 1988). 90% of abortions in Canada are performed during the first 12 weeks of 

    pregnancy, and just over 9% of abortions take place between 12 and 20 weeks of gestation. A 

    mere 0.4% of abortions take place after 20 weeks of gestation. These are considered late term 

    abortions.  

    Why Late Term Abortions are Necessary  

    A very small number of abortions occur after 20 weeks of gestation primarily because the fetus is 

    gravely or fatally impaired, or the woman's life or physical health is at risk, or both (Statistics 

    Canada, 2003; http://www.arcc-cdac.ca/action/bill_c338.html#facts). Many impairments or 

    health risks are not detectable until after the 24

    th

     week of gestation. In 1998 an American Doctor, 

    George Tiller, opposed efforts to ban late term abortions in Kansas, using “statistics and photos 

    of catastrophic pregnancies he had aborted.” The images showed fetuses with missing skulls or 

    spinal cords, and in one case twins fused into a single body (Dave Ranney, “Tiller: Abortion Bill 

    an Insult to Women,” Wichita Eagle, April 11, 1998, and Colleen McCain and Dave Ranney, 

    “Five Kansas Families share Deeply Personal Stories,” Wichita Eagle, April 19, 1998). 

    Those opposed to abortion rights have portrayed women as having late term abortions out of 

    "selfish convenience" or because they "suddenly can't get into a bathing suit." This 

    misrepresentation of women’s decision making with regard to abortion is always inaccurate, but 

    especially so in cases of late term abortion. Most women who terminate their pregnancies after 

    20 weeks wanted to have a child, and were forced to consider abortion for medical reasons. 

    Other women may be in desperate social circumstances, such as an abusive relationship, or they 

    may be very young teenagers who have delayed abortion care because they were in denial about 

    the pregnancy


    Canada is one of only three countries in the world with no laws restricting abortion. Because of 

    that, Canada serves as a respected role model for abortion care internationally. Abortion is a 

    health procedure and as such, can be left up to the discretion of the doctor and patient. It requires 

    no extra regulation, in the same way that childbirth or heart surgery requires no extra 

    regulation. It would be reactionary and counter-productive to pass any restriction against 

    abortion, because that would endanger women’s health and lives, and infringe on women's 

    equality rights: only women get pregnant, so abortion restrictions amount to discrimination 

    against women. It would also give the anti-abortion movement something to build on, and agitate 

    from. Abortion opponents target rare cases of late term abortion, describing it in horrific detail, 

    to evoke an emotional response in listeners. Their ultimate goal is to restrict all abortion rights. 

    What these lobbyists strategically fail to mention, however, is that banning late term abortions 

    would force women pregnant with dying fetuses to give birth at great risk to their own health, 

    undermining both the rights of women and the medical authority of doctors

  • D.O.E.
    by D.O.E.
    November 17, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    a canadian view on abortion

    Quoting D.O.E.:

     

    Incidence of Late Term Abortions 

    The Canadian Medical Association's abortion policy defines abortion as the active termination of 

    a pregnancy up to 20 weeks of gestation (Canadian Medical Association, Policy on Induced 

    Abortion, 1988). 90% of abortions in Canada are performed during the first 12 weeks of 

    pregnancy, and just over 9% of abortions take place between 12 and 20 weeks of gestation. A 

    mere 0.4% of abortions take place after 20 weeks of gestation. These are considered late term 

    abortions.  

    Why Late Term Abortions are Necessary  

    A very small number of abortions occur after 20 weeks of gestation primarily because the fetus is 

    gravely or fatally impaired, or the woman's life or physical health is at risk, or both (Statistics 

    Canada, 2003; http://www.arcc-cdac.ca/action/bill_c338.html#facts). Many impairments or 

    health risks are not detectable until after the 24

    th

     week of gestation. In 1998 an American Doctor, 

    George Tiller, opposed efforts to ban late term abortions in Kansas, using “statistics and photos 

    of catastrophic pregnancies he had aborted.” The images showed fetuses with missing skulls or 

    spinal cords, and in one case twins fused into a single body (Dave Ranney, “Tiller: Abortion Bill 

    an Insult to Women,” Wichita Eagle, April 11, 1998, and Colleen McCain and Dave Ranney, 

    “Five Kansas Families share Deeply Personal Stories,” Wichita Eagle, April 19, 1998). 

    Those opposed to abortion rights have portrayed women as having late term abortions out of 

    "selfish convenience" or because they "suddenly can't get into a bathing suit." This 

    misrepresentation of women’s decision making with regard to abortion is always inaccurate, but 

    especially so in cases of late term abortion. Most women who terminate their pregnancies after 

    20 weeks wanted to have a child, and were forced to consider abortion for medical reasons. 

    Other women may be in desperate social circumstances, such as an abusive relationship, or they 

    may be very young teenagers who have delayed abortion care because they were in denial about 

    the pregnancy


    Canada is one of only three countries in the world with no laws restricting abortion. Because of 

    that, Canada serves as a respected role model for abortion care internationally. Abortion is a 

    health procedure and as such, can be left up to the discretion of the doctor and patient. It requires 

    no extra regulation, in the same way that childbirth or heart surgery requires no extra 

    regulation. It would be reactionary and counter-productive to pass any restriction against 

    abortion, because that would endanger women’s health and lives, and infringe on women's 

    equality rights: only women get pregnant, so abortion restrictions amount to discrimination 

    against women. It would also give the anti-abortion movement something to build on, and agitate 

    from. Abortion opponents target rare cases of late term abortion, describing it in horrific detail, 

    to evoke an emotional response in listeners. Their ultimate goal is to restrict all abortion rights. 

    What these lobbyists strategically fail to mention, however, is that banning late term abortions 

    would force women pregnant with dying fetuses to give birth at great risk to their own health, 

    undermining both the rights of women and the medical authority of doctors


  • Stephanie329
    November 17, 2012 at 3:13 PM
    Didn't you all know women can see the future? She actually knows the moment that egg and sperm do the tango, just what will happen the entire pregnancy.

    See, I knew my babies were dying the entire pregnancy. I just got around to doing something about it at 18 weeks.

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