Arizona pushes to treat embryos and fertilized eggs like people

An Arizona law that would grant personality to fetuses, embryos and fertilized human eggs will be challenged in federal court on Friday as opponents seek to prevent abortion restrictions in the state.

The Center for Reproductive Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona are among groups seeking an injunction against a fetal personality provision included in a 2021 law.

This provision would give fetuses, embryos and fertilized eggs the same rights as people who have already been born and could lead to legal action against women who have abortions.

Challengers fear that women who undergo the procedure and the medical professionals who provide it could face charges of child molestation or endangerment if human rights are conferred in this way.

The emergency motion to block the personality measure was filed after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, where the Court overturned a 49-year precedent in Roe vs. Wade and found that the US Constitution does not protect a woman’s right to abortion.

Another provision of the 2021 Arizona law makes abortion illegal if there is an indication that the patient’s reason for seeking an abortion is the condition or diagnosis of the fetus, this includes Down syndrome. , cystic fibrosis and other conditions that the law calls “genetic”. anomalies. »

Two Arizona doctors, the Arizona Medical Association, the Arizona National Council of Jewish Women and the Arizona National Women’s Organization are challenging the law and are represented by the ACLU, Center for Reproductive Rights and the ACLU of Arizona.

Defendants in the case include Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, all Arizona county prosecutors, the Arizona Medical Board, the Arizona Department of Health Services and certain other officials .

In September 2021, Federal District Judge Douglas Rayes agreed to block the genetic disease section of the law, but declined to grant an injunction against the personality provision.

The plaintiffs filed an appeal against the denial of an injunction, while the state appealed the blocking of the genetic disease measure.

The subsequent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Dobbs June 24, 2022 potentially changed the legal landscape on abortion rights and restrictions, meaning a range of previously unenforceable laws would now come into effect.

The plaintiffs then filed an emergency petition for an injunction from the fetal personality section of the law on June 25. A hearing will be held Friday before Judge Rayes.

The Center for Arizona Policy backed the 2021 abortion law and its president, Cathi Herrod, told The Associated Press in June she expected to see more lawsuits challenging abortion restrictions. in Arizona.

“The reversal of deer allows states to establish abortion laws,” she said. “Arizona made this law to say that unborn children are protected by law.

Newsweek asked the Center for Reproductive Rights and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office for comment.

Abortion rights protesters sing during a Pro Choice rally at the Tucson Federal Courthouse in Tucson, Ariz., Monday, July 4, 2022. An Arizona judge will hear arguments Friday regarding the potential blocking of a Fetal Personality Provision in the State.
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