U.S. District Judge Douglas Rayes temporarily blocked a new Arizona abortion law that would have allowed felony charges to be laid against doctors for conducting an abortion solely due to the chance of the baby being born with a disability.
“This problem is exacerbated by the reality that the decision to terminate a pregnancy is a complex one, and often is motivated by a variety of considerations, some of which are inextricably intertwined with the detection of a fetal genetic abnormality,” Rayes wrote in the order.
However, the judge declined to grant a preliminary injunction for another aspect of the legislation requiring fetuses, embryos and fertilized eggs to be referred to as “people” from the point of conception.
In April, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed into law a measure banning abortions performed strictly on the basis of genetic disorders such as Down syndrome or cystic fibrosis, unless the condition is considered lethal.
Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, which sponsored the legislation, said Tuesday’s ruling was “only the first review by the federal courts”. “We remain confident the law will be upheld and ruled enforceable in its entirety,” Herrod added [NBC News].