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HomeNewsArizona Supreme Court Enforces Near-Total Ban, Revives 160-Year-Old Law

Arizona Supreme Court Enforces Near-Total Ban, Revives 160-Year-Old Law

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Demonstrators protest during a Women's March rally, Jan. 20, 2024, in Phoenix.
Source: Caitlin OHara/Bloomberg via Getty Images

One of the recent decisions taken by the Arizona Supreme Court gave the green light to an almost total ban on abortion from 1864. This would mean that, except in cases where the mother’s life is at risk, abortion will be banned in the state.

The decision further strengthened the abortion laws that already existed in Arizona, which already had a 15-week ban in place. However, there has been a pause in enforcing the new ban while it is still going through the legal processes.

Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, there has been an absence of Federal protection of abortion rights, and this law in Arizona took advantage of that. Roe v. Wade had before made the right to abortion a nationwide right, and with it no longer in effect, the Arizona Supreme Court sees fit to implement an old state law, which makes almost all abortions illegal. Anyone caught violating the ban could face a serious sentence of two to five years imprisonment.

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes, a Democrat, wasted no time publicly condemning the ruling. She emphasized that neither women nor doctors would face prosecution under what she described as a “draconian law.” Mayes condemned the court’s move strongly. She termed it “unconscionable” and warned of the risk that that law poses to the health and lives of Arizonans.

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ALSO READ: Trump Says States Should Decide Their Own Abortion Laws

This law comes from the 1864 abortion ban, and the court also directed another challenge against the ban back to the trial court. However, not all justices agreed to it. Justice Ann Timmer was clear about her disagreement. She mentioned that such an important decision should be left to the people and the legislature rather than being decided by the court.

Planned Parenthood Arizona CEO Angela Florez restated the concerns of everyone concerned about the impact of the ban. Her opinion was that banning abortion doesn’t remove the need for it and would only lead to unsafe practices or financial burdens for those who need abortion care. President Joe Biden also condemned the ruling. He called it “cruel” and said that it was the extreme agenda of Republican officials.

POLL—Should Abortion Be Legal in Most Cases?

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Meanwhile, SBA Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser was in celebrations. Her opinion was that Mothers and their unborn children had won this. Dannenfelser indicated that the anti-abortion groups in the state would now focus on stopping a potential ballot measure that may be protecting abortion access.

In the heat of this controversy, Vice President Kamala Harris plans to talk about abortion rights in her upcoming visit to Tucson. This goes to show that the attention of the presidency is on this issue.

Both sides of the debate are strategizing and preparing, with advocacy groups like Indivisible pushing for ways to preserve abortion rights while others, like Arizona Women of Action, are advocating for continued prayers and opposition to abortion.

ALSO READ: Tennessee Passes Controversial Bill Requiring Students to Watch Video Created By Anti-Abortion Group

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Despite the legal and political battles, Mayes assured the public that no one would be prosecuted under the new law during her tenure.

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