Arizona Supreme Court Rules State Must Enforce Near Total Abortion Ban Based On Century-Old Law

by Aaron Schwartz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Arizona Supreme Court has enforced a 160-year-old abortion ban, effectively banning abortion care in the state, joining a growing list of similar places in America with similar mandates. 

This law, enacted in 1864, made abortion a felony punishable by imprisonment for anyone involved in performing or facilitating an abortion, with an exception only if the woman’s life is  at risk. Despite being enacted long before Arizona became a state, the law remained in place, NBC News reports. 

The decision effectively overrides a lower court’s ruling that suggested a more recent 15-week abortion ban superseded the 1864 law. The state Supreme Court’s decision has sparked controversy and criticism from Democrats, including President Joe Biden, who condemned the ban as extreme and dangerous.

“Millions of Arizonans will soon live under an even more extreme and dangerous abortion ban, which fails to protect women even when their health is at risk or in tragic cases of rape or incest,” Biden said in a statement. He called the ban “cruel” and “a result of the extreme agenda of Republican elected officials who are committed to ripping away women’s freedom” and vowed to “continue to fight to protect reproductive rights.”

Arizona’s Attorney General, Kris Mayes, announced that she would not enforce the law, labeling it draconian and affirming her commitment to protecting women’s rights.

“Let me be completely clear, as long as I am Attorney General, no woman or doctor will be prosecuted under this draconian law in this state,” Mayes said in a statement, adding that the decision was “unconscionable” and “an affront to freedom.”

Governor Katie Hobbs, also a Democrat, urged GOP lawmakers to repeal the 1864 ban before it goes into effect, but Republican lawmakers did not appear to be taking up the cause.

“We are 14 days away from this extreme ban coming back to life,” Hobbs, a Democrat, said at a press conference. “It must be repealed immediately.”

While Hobbs said she was “sure” reproductive rights advocates would appeal the ruling in the 14-day window they were given, she also suggested that voters should support abortion rights on the November ballot to counteract the ruling. Through a separate, ongoing suit, abortion providers would be permitted to provide abortion services through the 15th week of pregnancy for another 45 days.

“It is more urgent than ever that Arizonans have the opportunity to vote to enshrine the right to abortion in our constitution this November. I’m confident that Arizonans will support this ballot measure, and I’m going to continue doing everything in my power to make sure it is successful,” Hobbs said.

The ruling has intensified ongoing debates over reproductive rights in Arizona, prompting calls for voters to support abortion rights in the upcoming November ballot. Additionally, the court’s decision underscores the impact of the Dobbs decision in 2022, which overturned Roe v. Wade, thus altering the legal landscape surrounding abortion rights.

Source link

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Shopping cart