The following comes from a Jan. 13 release from National Right to Life. A California pro-lifer notified Cal Catholic that it corrects misunderstandings in the Los Angeles Times story excerpted yesterday in Cal Catholic.
Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court not to hear an appeal in the case of an Arizona abortion ban does not affect abortion laws passed in ten states that prohibit abortion 20 weeks fetal age on the basis that these unborn children are capable of feeling pain. The National Right to Life model Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was enacted in Nebraska in 2010. Since then, nine other states have passed the landmark legislation.
“The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, as it was first passed in Nebraska, differs greatly from the Arizona law struck by the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, and today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to let that decision stand has no impact on these laws protecting from abortion unborn children who can feel pain,” observed Mary Spaulding Balch, National Right to Life director of state legislation. “We remain confident that when the U.S. Supreme Court has the opportunity to review the Nebraska-model Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, they will affirm the law as constitutional.”
The NRLC model legislation has been enacted in ten states (Nebraska, Kansas, Idaho, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Arkansas, North Dakota and Texas). The laws in Idaho and Georgia are currently enjoined pending litigation.
Balch noted that the Court’s action in the Arizona case is not unexpected, explaining that it is common for the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a case for argument when an issue has only been ruled on by one of the nation’s thirteen circuit courts of appeals.
“We will continue to work with our state affiliates to make enactment of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act our chief legislative priority in the state legislatures,” added Balch….
To read the entire release, click here
In a Jan. 13 article in the New York Times on the court decision, a distinction was made between the Arizona ban and those in other states.
The case concerned an Arizona law, enacted in 2012, that prohibits abortions, except in certain medical emergencies, when the fetus reaches 20 weeks gestation, dated from the woman’s last menstrual period….
The other states have set the threshold at 20 weeks after fertilization, about two weeks later in a pregnancy than Arizona’s cutoff, but still earlier than fetal viability. Such laws have been struck down in Georgia and Idaho but remain in effect in nine states where they have not been challenged in court.
To read the NY Times story, click here.