Brnovich asks judge to let him enforce abortion law

Attorney General Mark Brnovich/Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services 

Attorney General Mark Brnovich wants a judge to let him start enforcing a law prohibiting certain abortions despite a federal court ruling which found it unconstitutional.

In new legal filings, Brnovich is telling U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Rayes that he misinterpreted the law when he barred the state last month from making criminals out of doctors who perform abortions knowing the woman’s reason is a genetic fetal defect. And he contends that nothing in U.S. Supreme Court precedent, going back to the historic 1973 ruling of Roe v. Wade, guarantees a woman has a right to terminate a pregnancy for any reason she wants, even before a fetus is viable.

He also pointed out that the high court is set to review the issue of whether a state can ban pre-viability abortions, though Brnovich conceded that, for the moment, there is no ruling to that effect.

Instead, Brnovich is giving Rayes a laundry list of reasons why the state has a “compelling interest” in keeping doctors from terminating pregnancies when they are aware that the woman’s sole reason for not wanting the baby is a genetic defect. That includes “eradicating historical animus and bias against persons with disabilities” and sending a strong message that even as genetic testing advances “the state will send a message that it will not permit those advances to result in eugenic abortion.”

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