A 9th Circuit panel today ruled that Arizona abortion providers do have the necessary standing to ask for an injunction stopping the state's ban on abortions sought solely because of a genetic abnormality in the fetus. The Opinion REVERSES a lower court ruling earlier this year that refused to stop the 2021 law from going into effect after the Dobbs' decision reversed Roe v Wade.
The opinion, written by Judge Ronald Gould - the other two, approving judges were Arizonans Andrew Hurwitz and Roopali Desai - rested partly upon the physicians' assertions that the vagueness in the law have forced them and others to over-comply, inhibiting their practices and decreasing their patients' well-being.
Contrary to the holding of the district court, standing does not also require that the economic injury be sustained while engaging in an activity separately protected by the Constitution, such as First Amendment protected speech. Rather, our cases make clear that an Article III injury in fact can arise when plaintiffs are simply prevented from conducting normal business activities.
Today's decision sends the issue back to District Court Judge Douglas Rayes, with instructions to re-determine whether the law should be prevented from going into effect. He previously enjoined the other portion of the law, which would have granted a fetus "personhood".
The renewed court battle also comes as many of the same parties (and attorneys) are preparing for oral arguments before the Arizona Supreme Court on December 12, in a case that will determine whether Arizona's Territorial-era complete ban on abortions snapped back into place after the Dobbs' decision. (A determination that it did could render the fight about the genetic abnormalities ban irrelevant.)
Meanwhile, Arizona abortion rights advocates are also attempting to place a constitutional amendment on the 2024 ballot which would protect access to reproductive healthcare.
This article was reported by AZ Law founder Paul Weich.
"AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc. AZ Law is founded by Phoenix attorney Paul Weich, and joins Arizona's Politics on the internet.