The Slatest

Supreme Court Won’t Revive Arizona’s 20-Week Abortion Ban

The U.S. Supreme Court is shown from the dome of the U.S. Capitol during a media tour December 19, 2013 in Washington

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Associated Press with the big news from SCOTUS this morning:

The Supreme Court has rejected Arizona’s bid to put in place its ban on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The justices on Monday declined to reconsider a lower court ruling that the law violates a woman’s constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy before a fetus is able to survive outside the womb.

Gov. Jan Brewer signed that controversial ban into law in April 2012, and more than a half dozen other states went on to pass similar legislation in a direct challenge to the existing legal consensus that a state can’t ban the procedure until after a fetus can hypothetically survive on its own outside the womb. (The general threshold for viability among medical experts is 24 weeks, or at the very outside, 23 weeks.) Last year, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Arizona law and ruled that such bans violate a long string of Supreme Court rulings beginning with 1973’s Roe v. Wade. The high court’s decision to let that ruling stand suggests the justices have no interest in revisiting that case any time soon.

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