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News & Politics News & Politics

Arizona Defends Its Restrictive Abortion Ban Because Fetal Birth Defects Are ‘The Woman’s Problem’

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A federal appeals court panel on Mondayconsidered Arizona’s stringent abortion ban, which has the distinction of being the most restrictive in the nation because it criminalizes almost all abortions after just 20 weeks. Arizona already bans abortion after viability — which is generally considered to occur around week 23 or 24 of pregnancy — but the bill in question would go even further, redefining gestation in a way that would ban abortion at least two weeks before other states do, potentially as early as week 18.

The judges on the panel questioned HB 2036′s potential to harm the women who do not realize the medical risks of their pregnancies until after the arbitrary cut-off, when they are no longer permitted to seek abortions. But Arizona officials brushed aside those concerns, saying that those medical emergencies are “the woman’s problem”:

Judge Andrew Kleinfeld, a panel member appointed by former President George H.W. Bush, repeatedly expressed concern that the law might not afford women the opportunity to abort a fetus with birth defects in cases where the defects are not apparent until just before 20 weeks.

He also questioned the need to prohibit abortions at that stage of the pregnancy, especially for fetuses bound to develop “horrible birth defects.”

“They’re basically born into hell and then die,” Kleinfeld said. “I don’t see how the courts could act before viability” of the fetus.

“With due respect, that’s the woman’s problem,” responded David Cole, Arizona’s solicitor general. “She should have made that decision earlier.”

However, in some cases, women cannot actually make that decision earlier because it is too difficult to detect fetal abnormalities before the medically accepted point of viability. And the American Civil Liberties Union, which is suing Arizona to block HB 2036 from going into effect,told Reuters that Arizona’s ban has a “truly, horrifically narrow” medical exception that will prevent many women from getting abortions even when it is medically necessary for them to end a pregnancy. Even though about 100 pregnancies are terminated after 20 weeks in Arizona each year, the law would criminally prosecute the doctors who perform abortion services after the cut-off.

The three-judge panel has yet to make a final ruling. A federal judge upheld HB 2036 at the end of July, but a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel temporarily blocked the law from going into effect just a few days later so that the court could more fully consider the case.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/06/us-usa-abortion-arizona-idUSBRE8A503420121106?

by on Nov. 16, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Replies (21-30):
Stephanie329
by Bronze Member on Nov. 17, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Yes, simple ultrasounds. That's how I found out both times

Quoting paknari:

I couldn't abort a child at all unless it had a horrible birth defect anyway but I worry about the birth defects that are found later I'm not sure but I know that with my doctor I was not offered testing for defects until I was almost 29 weeks. Can they do them sooner?
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
paknari
by Silver Member on Nov. 17, 2012 at 11:24 PM
What about the blood tests for
The chromosomal disorders? Do they just offer them at 20 weeks out of convenience?


Quoting Stephanie329:

Yes, simple ultrasounds. That's how I found out both times



Quoting paknari:

I couldn't abort a child at all unless it had a horrible birth defect anyway but I worry about the birth defects that are found later I'm not sure but I know that with my doctor I was not offered testing for defects until I was almost 29 weeks. Can they do them sooner?

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Stephanie329
by Bronze Member on Nov. 18, 2012 at 3:18 PM
20 weeks is convenient? I do not know what you are getting at. Chromosomal testing is routinely offered around 16 weeks, done by blood work (at least it was 14 years ago). There is a reason it's done at a certain time, convenience would be to do it in the first trimester. Have you ever been pregnant? If so, I'm glad you have no reason to be knowledgable concerning the horrible realities that I faced.

CVS is also another choice for earlier detection.
Quoting paknari:

What about the blood tests for

The chromosomal disorders? Do they just offer them at 20 weeks out of convenience?



Quoting Stephanie329:

Yes, simple ultrasounds. That's how I found out both times





Quoting paknari:

I couldn't abort a child at all unless it had a horrible birth defect anyway but I worry about the birth defects that are found later I'm not sure but I know that with my doctor I was not offered testing for defects until I was almost 29 weeks. Can they do them sooner?

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
jaxTheMomm
by Gold Member on Nov. 18, 2012 at 5:15 PM

Yes.

It's not that "most" defects are found by 20 weeks via bloodscreen, around 17 weeks when it happened to me, it's that most "potential" defects are found by 20 weeks.  Additional testing is always done.  Some defects may be reparable, which might take a little time to investigate.  Some women need a little more time to make this decision, alert the family, say goodbye to their pregnancy, make arraingements for burial or ceremony, or for time off, childcare, etc. 

I don't know for sure - honestly never looked it up - but I think most terminations (and this included laboring early to end the pregnancy) would probably fall under the catagory of medically necessary. 

By 20 weeks - no, it's not convenient.  It's hard.

Quoting PamR:



Quote:

He's right.  Most defects are found by 20 weeks.  So why wait to terminate?

Anyone here actually ever been in this situation?


paknari
by Silver Member on Nov. 18, 2012 at 7:55 PM
I meant convenience for the doctor but apparently you must be a doctor. I am pregnant with my second child and all chromosomal testing was offered both times at 20 weeks so my question was if they just do it at 20 weeks out onconvience or if there is a reason that they chose to do it at that time. Clearly if one asks you an question you find it easier to make rude remarks rather than have an actual conversation. I am well aware of chromosomal disorders as I am a lab technician but I have always been taught that confirmation is done through blood test and the ultrasound is just a precursor. also, I dont know where in any of my comments you feel I was being crass or unfeeling. Never once did I even comment on you issues or your past experiences. Nor did i mock or belittle any such disorders. Before you go thinking everyone is belittling you maybe you should wait til they actually say something about you personally.

Quoting Stephanie329:

20 weeks is convenient? I do not know what you are getting at. Chromosomal testing is routinely offered around 16 weeks, done by blood work (at least it was 14 years ago). There is a reason it's done at a certain time, convenience would be to do it in the first trimester. Have you ever been pregnant? If so, I'm glad you have no reason to be knowledgable concerning the horrible realities that I faced.

CVS is also another choice for earlier detection.
Quoting paknari:

What about the blood tests for

The chromosomal disorders? Do they just offer them at 20 weeks out of convenience?




Quoting Stephanie329:

Yes, simple ultrasounds. That's how I found out both times





Quoting paknari:

I couldn't abort a child at all unless it had a horrible birth defect anyway but I worry about the birth defects that are found later I'm not sure but I know that with my doctor I was not offered testing for defects until I was almost 29 weeks. Can they do them sooner?




Posted on CafeMom Mobile
emeraldangel2.0
by on Nov. 18, 2012 at 11:38 PM

no, they offer those around 15-16 weeks

Quoting paknari:

What about the blood tests for
The chromosomal disorders? Do they just offer them at 20 weeks out of convenience?


Quoting Stephanie329:

Yes, simple ultrasounds. That's how I found out both times



Quoting paknari:

I couldn't abort a child at all unless it had a horrible birth defect anyway but I worry about the birth defects that are found later I'm not sure but I know that with my doctor I was not offered testing for defects until I was almost 29 weeks. Can they do them sooner?



paknari
by Silver Member on Nov. 19, 2012 at 2:43 PM
Mine does them at 20 weeks that's why I asked. I am pregnant with my 2nd and it was always coupled with the anatomical ultrasound at 20 weeks.

Quoting emeraldangel2.0:

no, they offer those around 15-16 weeks

Quoting paknari:

What about the blood tests for

The chromosomal disorders? Do they just offer them at 20 weeks out of convenience?





Quoting Stephanie329:

Yes, simple ultrasounds. That's how I found out both times





Quoting paknari:

I couldn't abort a child at all unless it had a horrible birth defect anyway but I worry about the birth defects that are found later I'm not sure but I know that with my doctor I was not offered testing for defects until I was almost 29 weeks. Can they do them sooner?





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Debrowsky
by Silver Member on Nov. 19, 2012 at 5:46 PM
1 mom liked this

Defects or not.  perfection or not.   planned or not.   It is not my place as a human being and mother to decide to kill my baby for any reason.    It's my loving and reasonable purpose to ensure life and love, not unasked for death, to the vulnerable and innocent of all humans - babies.


imamomzilla
by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 6:00 PM

 AMEN!

bow down

Quoting Debrowsky:

Defects or not.  perfection or not.   planned or not.   It is not my place as a human being and mother to decide to kill my baby for any reason.    It's my loving and reasonable purpose to ensure life and love, not unasked for death, to the vulnerable and innocent of all humans - babies.


 

 


"By not being opposed to evil you endorse evil. Likewise those who say, 'Nobody is pro abortion. We're just pro choice' are guilty of self deception. They are indeed pro abortion ...."

- Fr. Dwight Longenecker

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Nov. 19, 2012 at 7:35 PM

James Elgin Gill, born in Canada in 1988 at 21 weeks 5 days. Graduated from college in 2010. Sorry - off by 1 week 2 days.

But this is irrelevant. As the full article points out, other states also set their limit at 20 weeks. So this  whole story is much ado about nothing.

Quoting jaxTheMomm:

What is your source for youngest gestational age of fetus to be viable and survive birth? 

Quoting SallyMJ:


Just a clarification: Judge Andrew Kleinfeld is part of the federal appeals court, does not represent Arizona.

The Reuters article states this bill uses the time frame of 20 weeks, not 18 weeks, as mentioned here. The youngest gestational age person who has survived in America was born at 20 weeks. That is why Arizona is using this time frame. They are erring on the side of viability. It would be very bizarre to have two babies at 20 weeks: one is born and cared for in the NICU, the other is aborted and dumped in the trash.

The other US laws were written a long time ago when the age of viability was a lot higher - before NICUs could take care of such young preemies.

I don't think it's a bad idea to err on the side of life. And Arizona's laws are not unreasonable, even though the date is earlier - which again, is based on the age of viability today. 




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