A lawsuit filed Aug. 17 seeks to overturn an Arizona law banning abortions because of genetic abnormalities including Down syndrome.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed the new law on April 27. The sweeping pro-life measure bans abortions sought solely because of a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome or other survivable genetic issues.
The law allows prosecutors to seek felony charges against doctors who provide abortions for reasons of genetic abnormalities. It also bans mail delivery of abortion-inducing medication and requires fetal remains to be buried or cremated. The law includes a “personhood” provision that confers rights to embryos and fetuses, which is set to take effect Sept. 29.
Abortion-rights advocates are challenging the constitutionality of the law.
Cathi Herrod, president of the pro-life group Center for Arizona Progress, which lobbied for the bill, told The Associated Press she was confident it will be upheld in court.
“As a society, within our laws we do not discriminate on born individuals due to genetic conditions, neither should we discriminate against unborn children solely because of genetic conditions,” Herrod said.
Arizona already bans abortions based on race and sex, so it’s not unprecedented to ban abortions based on the genetic abnormality reason, she added.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Phoenix by the Center for Reproductive Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of two doctors who perform abortions, the National Council of Jewish Women, the National Organization for Women and the Arizona Medical Association.
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