Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio lost round two Tuesday of his legal fight to enact a policy against transporting inmates for abortions.
A unanimous three-judge panel of the Arizona Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that declared Arpaio’s policy illegal. The court rejected his contention that the policy had legitimate purposes.
“I’m going to go to the Supreme Court,” Arpaio said. “I’m not going to give up.”
A woman who was sentenced to four months in jail in March 2004 found out she was pregnant shortly before she was taken into custody.
The woman unsuccessfully tried to delay her sentencing, and once in jail she expressed her desire for an abortion.
Arpaio refused, citing an unwritten policy that prohibits transporting inmates for elective medical procedures.
The woman, who is identified as Jane Doe, eventually got her abortion after securing a court order in May 2004.
“We conclude that the Policy represents an ‘exaggerated response’ to the County’s proffered penological concerns and is invalid as it applies to transportation for abortion services,” wrote Judge Patrick Irvine.