Judge Blocks Arizona’s ‘Personhood’ Law Giving Fetus’s Same Rights As People
A federal judge from Pheonix, Arizona, blocked a 2021 “personhood” law that gave unborn babies the same rights as a living person.
When the law was enacted, many argued that it put people’s lives at risk and presented legal challenges for abortion providers.
Missouri, Kansas, Georgia and Alabama are other states known to have similar personhood laws.
U.S. District Judge Douglas Rayes recently put the law on hold after ruling that the Arizona law was extremely vague. He stated that it was “anyone’s guess” on how to interpret the law.
He argued further and stated that prosecutions of providers would be too difficult and there wouldn’t be any baseline for proper rulings.
Rayes wrote, “And that is the problem. When the punitive and regulatory weight of the entire Arizona code is involved, Plaintiffs should not have to guess at whether their conduct is on the right or the wrong side of the law.”
Since the ruling of Dobbs v. Jackson, Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade, Arizona abortion providers halted all abortion, unsure of what law might be in place.
A pre-1901 law in the state that bans abortions is still in effect.
“Today’s ruling was based on an interpretation of Arizona law that our office did not agree with, and we are carefully considering our next steps,” a spokesperson for the governor said in a statement.