NRL News

Skeptical Appeals Court Panel hears Arizona’s “Mother’s Health and Safety Act”

by | Nov 7, 2012

By Dave Andrusko

On Monday a three-judge panel of the ultra-liberal 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco peppered Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and State Solicitor General David Cole, who were defending House Bill 2036, according to various news services.

Defended by the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights and the ACLU, three Arizona abortionists challenged the bill which was signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer in April. In July U.S. District Judge James Teilborg upheld the law, which was supposed to take effect on August 2. But on August 1, the appeals court issued an emergency injunction until it issues its ruling. The three judges gave no indication Monday when they would rule.

House Bill 2036, would protect from abortion babies no younger than 18 weeks after fertilization—and, of course, babies who are older.

Judging by accounts from Reuters, the Arizona Republic, and the Associated Press, Judges Andrew Kleinfeld, Marsha Berzon, and Mary Schroeder “picked apart” legal arguments made by Montgomery and Cole but dealt very little with the core issue behind Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Acts—that the state ought to be able to prohibit abortions when the child is capable of experiencing pain.

When Judge Teilborg upheld the law, he asked very specific questions. According to a New York Times editorial that blasted Telborg,

“Then he lectured her [Janet Crepps, a lawyer from the Center for Reproductive Rights] for what he suggested, wrongly, was a lack of compassion for the unborn. He said he had read the plaintiffs’ affidavits and had found that they ‘reflect profound compassion and concern for their patients, the women, and presumably the fathers.’ However, he added, ‘I didn’t find anywhere in those affidavits any expression of concern by the plaintiffs’ positions for the unborn child — or even a hint of concern on their part.

“’Given that silence on that part,’ the judge said, ‘and given the silence in your own presentation, doesn’t that underscore the legitimacy of the state’s regulatory action out of concern for the unborn child?’

Categories: Judicial