U.S. Appeals Court Blocks Arizona’s New Late-Term Abortion Ban

(Reuters) –– A federal appeals court blocked Arizona on Wednesday from enforcing a new state ban on most late-term abortions that opponents say is the toughest in the nation, and agreed to an expedited review of the controversial measure.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the injunction two days after a federal judge upheld the ban and threw out a lawsuit brought against the Republican-backed law, which was due to go into effect on Thursday.

The measure bars doctors from performing abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy except in a medical emergency, defined as a case where an immediate abortion is required to avert the mother’s death or a risk of “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.”

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