Read about the federal district court victory upholding the constitutionality of the Arizona 20-week abortion restriction to protect the health of women and the lives of unborn children who are capable of feeling pain.  BDF is legal consultant to Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, who argued the case against the ACLU and CRR representing 3 late-term abortion providers.  Read the decision, the transcript of the oral argument, the statute, and learn about the November 5, 2012 oral argument.

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BDF Advisor Dr. Maureen Condic In Congress on the Science of Fetal Pain


On May 23, 2013, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, Chaired by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) held a hearing on the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, H.R. 1797. Below are links to videos from the hearing and to transcripts of witness testimony, including the science of pain by BDF advisor Dr. Maureen Condic.

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Appeal Update: AZ 20 Week Abortion Restriction

FOX News: November 5, 2012. Appeals Court hears oral arguments on AZ 20 week law.

On August 1, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit set an expedited briefing schedule during which the the effective date of the Arizona 20 week abortion restriction will be delayed. This will allow the three-judge panel to consider briefing by the parties on the the law as upheld by Judge Teilborg.

Bioethics Defense Fund will continue to provide legal consultation to Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, who is committed to vigorously defending Arizona's law that recognizes the humanity of the unborn child, as well as the documented danger of late-term abortion to women's health. 





July 30, 2012. Phoenix, Arizona. Bioethics Defense Fund is pleased to announce a landmark victory in federal district court upholding a cutting-edge Arizona law that restricts abortion at 20 weeks except in cases of medical emergency "to avert her death or for which a delay will create serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function." A normal pregnancy is 40 weeks, so this restriction applies to late-term abortions where the unborn child is nearly 6 months gestation.


Victorious Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery
and his civil chief Doug Irish with BDF counsel

Bioethics Defense Fund attorneys Nikolas T. Nikas and Dorinda Bordlee provided intense legal consultation to Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, a lead defendant in the emergency injunction action filed 10 days ago by the ACLU and the New York based Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of three late-term abortion providers.


The challenged Act, AZ H.B. 2036, included pages of medical findings concerning documented risks to women's health and the strong medical evidence that unborn children feel pain during an abortion at that gestational age.


In today's ruling, federal district Judge Teilborg concluded:

"Given the nature of D&Es and induction abortions, as described above, and the finding that the unborn child has developed pain sensors all over its body by 20 weeks gestational age, this Court concludes that the State has shown a legitimate interest in limiting abortions past 20 weeks gestational age. Further, in promulgating H.B. 2036, Arizona expressed concerns for the health of the pregnant woman, finding that the instance of complications is highest after twenty weeks of gestation. This additional legitimate interest further supports H.B. 2036's regulation on abortions after 20 weeks gestational age."


BDF president Nikolas Nikas stated, "In this case, the abortion industry's radical agenda of unfettered access to late-term abortion was met with defeat by a well-reasoned decision by federal district judge William Teilborg. The decision cited strong evidence supporting the danger of abortion to women's health and the brutal pain inflicted on unborn children. Bioethics Defense Fund is honored to be of service to County Attorney Bill Montgomery, who did an outstanding job defending the law at the hearing against professional abortion lawyers. The judge's ruling was nothing less than complete and total defeat of the abortion lawyers' case which was based on rank speculation with no actual woman claiming a harm and no concrete facts."


BDF's Dorinda Bordlee said that the extraordinary oral argument transcript and ruling describing the brutal D&E method are available on the website. "This ruling should be studied by everyone in the pro-life movement," said Bordlee, "because it foreshadows the day that the Supreme Court will return the abortion issue back to the state legislatures to act on their legitimate interests in protecting women and unborn children from the unspeakable violence of abortion."


  • Read the district court ruling here.
  • Read the oral argument transcript here.
  • Read H.B. 2036 here.

    Media Contacts:
    Nikolas T. Nikas, Bioethics Defense Fund,
    Dorinda C. Bordlee, Bioethics Defense Fund, 504-231-7234



    Bioethics Defense Fund is a national public-interest organization that puts law in the service of life via model legislation, litigation and public education.



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