Share This Page

Hearing over Arizona's abortion ban gets under way

| Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, 2:36 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal appeals court has begun in San Francisco grappling with the constitutionality of Arizona's abortion law, which prohibits abortion after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Arizona's prohibition is considered the most restrictive abortion law in the country. Three Arizona obstetrician-gynecologists are challenging the law in federal court.

On Monday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals began considering the issue Monday after a lower court judge upheld the law.

Supporters justify the ban by arguing that fetuses can feel pain as early as 20 weeks of pregnancy and that women face more health risks from later abortions. Critics dispute both contentions.

Nine other states also have 20-week bans, but the Arizona ban is earliest because it uses a different starting point to calculate a fetus' age.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.