Arizona asks Supreme Court to lift block on law barring abortions for genetic disorders

The Supreme Court could soon be faced with yet another case challenging a law limiting abortions out of a Republican-led state.

This time, it’s Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) who has filed an emergency request with the Supreme Court. According to the Washington Examiner, Brnovich argued Tuesday that the SCOTUS should reverse a lower court ruling that has blocked an Arizona law banning abortions performed solely because of non-lethal fetal genetic abnormalities from going into effect.

The request was filed with Justice Elena Kagan, who has jurisdiction over the judicial circuit Arizona is in. She will reportedly present that request to the rest of her colleagues for a vote on whether the case should be taken up by the high court.

“Protecting the unborn”

Reuters was the first to report on the AG’s request, which seeks to have a preliminary hold lifted from the law so that it can go into effect while pending lawsuits against it proceed through the judicial system.

The block was first applied back in September by a federal judge after the law, which had been signed by Gov. Doug Ducey (R) in April, was challenged by abortion-rights activists and the Arizona Medical Association.

According to Reuters, the Arizona law would ban “abortions performed strictly on the basis of genetic disorders detected in the fetus, such as Down syndrome or cystic fibrosis, unless the condition is considered lethal.”

In a tweet posted Tuesday evening, Brnovich wrote, “Every society will ultimately be judged by how it treats its most vulnerable. I am proud to stand up for Arizona’s law protecting the unborn.”

A look ahead

Brnovich attached to his tweet a link to a Fox News report that highlighted the timing of his request: The Supreme Court is currently preparing to rule on two other significant pro-life laws out of Republican-led states that threaten to undermine the precedents set in 1973’s Roe v. Wade and 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

The first case set to come before the SCOTUS concerns a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks.

The second concerns a Texas law that prohibits most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. While Mississippi’s ban has been blocked by lower courts, the Texas legislation was permitted to go into effect amid ongoing legal challenges.

Only time will tell if the high court’s conservative-leaning bench is willing to use these opportunities to overturn precedent and protect the lives of the unborn — but we can bet Brnovich and other GOP attorneys general won’t let them just shrug the issue off this time around.

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