Arizona Supreme Court upholds near-total abortion ban

Posted 44 days ago


The Arizona Supreme Court issued a ruling on Tuesday reverting the state back to a 160-year-old, pre-statehood law that outlaws abortions in nearly all circumstances and criminalizes abortions.

The law would also make it a felony for anyone who "provides, supplies or administers to a pregnant woman, or procures such woman to take any medicine, drugs or substance, or uses or employs any instrument or other means whatever, with intent thereby to procure the miscarriage of such woman, unless it is necessary to save her life," potentially carrying a prison sentence between 2 and 5 years.

The law, which was codified in 1913 after Arizona became a state, includes an exception in cases where the mother's life is at risk.

The law was never repealed, and a state court allowed the ban to remain in place last year as long as it was compatible with a 2022 law that allows women to get an abortion within the first 15 weeks of pregnancy.

In contending with the two distinct laws, the court concluded in a 4-2 ruling Tuesday that the 2022 law "does not create a right to, or otherwise provide independent statutory authority for, an abortion that repeals or restricts" the 1913 law.

The court's majority wrote that instead, it "is predicated entirely on the existence of a federal constitutional right to an abortion since disclaimed" by the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

The 160-year-old law is "now enforceable," the opinion read, and will go into effect in 14 days. Tuesday's highly anticipated ruling comes as the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case four months ago.... (Read more)