A federal judge has temporarily blocked an Arizona state law that required the state to interpret all laws to grant unborn babies civil rights.
According to Fox News, U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Rayes ruled this week that the 2021 Arizona law was “too vague.”
“A law is unconstitutionally vague if its application is so unclear that people of ordinary intelligence cannot figure out in advance how to comply with it,” Rayes wrote in his opinion.
Rayes also said that granting unborn babies the same personhood rights could mean abortion in the state would be classified as a homicide.
The original state law said that all state laws “shall be interpreted and construed to acknowledge, on behalf of an unborn child at every stage of development, all rights, privileges and immunities available to other person, citizens and residents of this state.”
The law also prohibited abortions because of the sex, race or genetic abnormality of the baby.
Previously, the U.S. District Court blocked part of the law that prohibited women from seeking to abort an unborn child with a survivable genetic abnormality.
Arizona already has a 1901 law that bans nearly all abortions. Another law signed earlier this year prohibits abortion procedures after 15 weeks of gestation. Both laws allow exceptions in cases where the mother’s life is at risk.
Under Arizona’s “personhood” law, Rayes said it was unclear if even a legal abortion would be considered a crime.
Providers would be “left to guess whether their conduct could be criminalized under a maximalist application” of the personhood law.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed an emergency motion in June to block the “personhood” law. Both groups said in their motion that the law could put medical providers and women at risk of being charged with crimes such as child endangerment or assault.
“The overturning of Roe allows the state to set abortion laws,” Center of Arizona Policy president Cathi Herrod said. “Arizona set this law to say that unborn children are protected in the law.”
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.