The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in a case that challenges Arizona’s ban of abortion at 20 weeks today. The legal issue under consideration is “whether the ban effectively prohibits abortions before viability, which would be barred by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision, or is merely a restriction such as others the high court has ruled that states can impose,” according to the Associated Press.

The law in question prohibits women from getting an abortion 20 weeks after a woman’s last period, which is approximately 18 weeks after fertilization. The definition of medical exception is also narrowed through the law. The law is the most restrictive in the nation. It was challenged in court by three obstetrician-gynecologists from Arizona. After the District Court in Phoenix ruled the law constitutional, the doctors appealed to the 9th Circuit Court.

Other states that have abortion bans starting at 20 weeks are Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Carolina, and Oklahoma. Thirty-one other states ban abortion after viability.

Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 7/13/2012; Wall Street Journal 11/5/2012; Associated Press 11/4/2012

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