A federal judge in Arizona has upheld the state’s disputed ban on abortions starting at 20 weeks of pregnancy except in medical emergencies, which will go into effect on Thursday as scheduled. The judge said the new law is constitutional because it doesn’t prohibit women from the right to choose, though it may force women considering abortion to make the choice earlier. He also noted in the statute that Arizona provided “substantial and well-documented” evidence that an unborn child can feel pain during an abortion at 20 weeks. Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed the measure into law in April, along with another law that blocks funding for its abortion-providing clinics. The New York–based Center for Reproductive Rights said it and another group plan to file an emergency appeal against the ruling with the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
CONTROVERSIAL Victor R. Caivano / AP Photos