A federal appellate court Tuesday upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit against Arizona’s first-in-the-nation law banning abortions based solely on race or gender.
The plaintiffs — National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum — do not have standing to challenge the law because only people “who are personally denied equal treatment” can bring such a case, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said in their Tuesday ruling.
The Arizona law is supported by state and congressional officials; pro-life leaders, including NAACP member Alveda King; and others who oppose abortions performed because the fetus is an unwanted race or gender.
“Nothing about an abortion committed on the basis of sex or race is medically necessary or constitutionally protected,” Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Steven H. Aden said Tuesday.
Attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union had argued that the law intentionally stigmatizes women of color, exploits racial stereotypes against black and Asian women, and requires doctors to racially profile their patients.
A federal judge in Arizona dismissed their case, saying that the stigmatizing effect of the law on the groups’ members was “insufficient” to support their standing to challenge the law.
The 9th Circuit panel, which heard arguments Dec. 9, upheld the lower court ruling Tuesday.
In 2011, Arizona lawmakers became the first in the nation to enact a law forbidding abortions based solely on the race or gender of the fetus.