Arizona bishops hope for Supreme Court ruling



The following comes from a May 25 story on the Catholic News Agency website.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against an Arizona law banning abortions after 20 weeks, but backers of the measure are hopeful that the case will result in a favorable Supreme Court decision.

“The decision from the Ninth Circuit was expected, but is nonetheless disappointing,” Ronald Johnson, executive director of the Arizona Catholic Conference, told CNA May 23.

“I have always felt that the United States Supreme Court would have the last word on this case. There is also some comfort in knowing that the Ninth Circuit is the most overturned circuit in the country.”

A three-judge panel from the federal appeals court unanimously said the law violated both Roe v. Wade and the 2007 decision Gonzales v. Carhart.

“Arizona simply cannot proscribe a woman from choosing to obtain an abortion before the fetus is viable,” the panel said.

Gov. Jan Brewer signed the law in April 2012. It barred abortions after 20 weeks into pregnancy, excepting only medical emergencies that threaten the life of the mother. A federal district judge upheld the law in July, the Arizona Republic reports.

Cathi Herrod, President of the Center for Arizona Policy, charged that the Ninth Circuit decision disregarded evidence that proves unborn children can feel pain in the womb at 20 weeks or later.

“The court put a pro-abortion ideology before the health and safety of women and preborn children,” Herrod said May 21. “The court held to the vague standard that abortions can only be limited based on whether the child is viable, even though they confessed viability is not a ‘fixed’ point.”

State Sen. Kimberly Yee, a Phoenix Republican who sponsored the bill, said she is optimistic that the Supreme Court will take up the case.

Yee, who herself is 20 weeks pregnant, referred to her own pregnancy. “Without a doubt, this is life,” she said.

Supporters of the court’s decision include attorney Janet Crepps of the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights.

She said constitutional law protects the right to choose abortion up to the point of the viability of the unborn child.

“The state can’t cross that line, it can’t fudge that line,” Crepps told the Arizona Republic.

Maricopa County Attorney General Bill Montgomery said he will appeal to the Supreme Court. He said the law is an opportunity for the court to consider other issues than viability alone, including arguments based on advances in medical technology that provide evidence that unborn babies can feel pain. He said the court can also consider the health risk to women from abortions performed after 20 weeks.

However, the Supreme Court must first decide to hear the case.

Johnson said Arizona’s partial-birth abortion ban remains in effect. The state has several other pro-life laws that require informed consent and a 24-hour waiting period for women considering abortions.

To read the original story, click here.



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  1. I would think the bishops would be more effective in evangelizing if they’d follow the Pope and become holy and practice what they preach. Their credibility keeps diving, when stories such as Cdl Dolan has been secretly allowing contraception and maybe abortion to be done at his Catholic hospitals. That on top of Cdl Law, who presently has fled the USA for fear of arrest, and Cdl Mahony who has defacto run a temple prostitution ring … and these bishops are the top or even the tip of the iceberg in what Pope Emeritus has referred to as the “filth” that infests the Church. Well, at least they are being ferreted out, although slowly.

  2. On the net see: “Endowment for Human Development”. Pass on a link to this scientific, non-religious medical site to everyone you know – so they may know what our government sponsored killing does.

    At 9 weeks and 3 days – ” The fetus can also grasp an object, move the head forward and back, open and close the jaw, move the tongue, sigh, and stretch.
    Nerve receptors in the face, the palms of the hands, and the soles of the feet can sense light touch.
    “In response to a light touch on the sole of the foot,” the fetus will bend the hip and knee and may curl the toes. ”

    The US Government aids and abets in the murder of approx. 1 Million babies each year.
    Whom have you been VOTING for in Federal, State and Local elections? – baby killers (abortion); killers of the sick, disabled, mentally and physically ill (euthanasia): supporters of sodomy (same sex marriage) ?
    On the net see “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion, General Principles” 2004 by Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict).

    • A current news item has a former abortionist testifying that a young fetus having its legs and arms ripped off feels a lot of pain.

  3. Kenneth M. Fisher says:

    As long as we have Black Robed “Judges” unconstitutionally running our so called Judiciary, nothing will be done. It is time that some elected officials demanded to know where in the Constitution these tyrants get their authority from!

    God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
    Kenneth M. Fisher

  4. Obviously, faithful catholics would like to see Roe overturned. I never thought Roe was correct, since they simply evaded the question—is the fetus alive. They couldn’t objectively answer that question and instead decided the case based on privacy rights.

    To me, the very fact that we could not decide when a fetus is alive meant that we needed to protect the fetus from the earliest point that life is POSSIBLE. The Church puts that point at conception. I would accept first neural activity (this is theologically acceptable since it improves upon current law as part of a legal strategy of “incrementalism”).

    But, Roe set the line at “viability” and Arizona sets it at an earlier point than that. Consequently, the Supreme Court would have to overturn Roe to endorse the Arizona law.

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