HomeWorldArizona judge: State may implement almost complete abortion ban

Arizona judge: State may implement almost complete abortion ban

An Arizona judge says the state could implement a near-complete ban on abortions that have been blocked for nearly 50 years

An Arizona judge says the state could implement a near-complete ban on abortions that have been blocked for nearly 50 years

Arizona could impose a near-complete ban on abortion that has been blocked for nearly 50 years, a judge ruled on Sept. 23, meaning clinics across the state must avoid filing criminal charges against doctors and other medical workers. procedures have to be stopped.

The judge lifted a decades-old injunction that had prevented Arizona from enforcing the law that was already on the books before it became a state. The restriction is exempted only if the life of the woman is in danger.

The ruling means abortion clinics in the state will have to be closed and anyone seeking an abortion will have to move out of state. The decision is effective immediately, although an appeal is possible. Planned Parenthood and two other large providers said they were stopping abortions.

Abortion providers have been on a roller coaster since the US Supreme Court in June Reversed the landmark 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade Guaranteeing women the constitutional right to abortion. First the providers ceased operations, then reopened, and now have to close again.

Planned Parenthood had urged the judge not to allow enforcement, and its president declared that the ruling “takes Arizonans back to living under an archaic, 150-year-old law.”

“This decision is out of step with the will of Arizonans and would ruthlessly force pregnant people to leave their communities for abortions,” Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement. .

Republican Attorney General Mark Branovich, who urged the judge to lift the injunction so that the ban could be enforced, was delighted.

“We commend the court for upholding the will of the legislature and providing clarity and uniformity on this important issue,” Mr Branovich said in a statement. “I have and will continue to protect the most vulnerable Arizonans.”

The ruling comes amid an election season in which Democrats have seized on abortion rights as a powerful issue. Under a challenge from Republican Blake Masters, Sen. Mark Kelly said that choosing to have an abortion “would have a devastating effect on the decades of freedom for Arizona women”. Democrat Katie Hobbs, who is running for governor, called it the product of a decades-long attack by Republicans on reproductive freedom that could only be stopped by voters in November.

Republicans running against Ms. Hobbs and Kari Lake, both support abortion restrictions. There was no immediate comment on his campaigns.

Pima County Superior Court Judge Kelly Johnson delivered the ruling more than a month after hearing arguments on Branovich’s request to lift the injunction.

An almost complete abortion ban was enacted decades before Arizona gained statehood in 1912. The prosecution was halted after an injunction was granted following Roe’s decision. Nevertheless, the Legislature re-enacted the law in 1977.

Assistant Attorney General Beau Roysden told Ms Johnson at the August 19 hearing that since Roe was dismissed, the sole reason for the injunction blocking the old law had expired and she should allow it to go into effect. Under that law, anyone convicted of performing a surgical abortion or providing drugs for drug abortion could face two to five years in prison.

An attorney for Planned Parenthood and its Arizona ally argued that allowing a pre-state ban to apply would make recent laws governing abortion meaningless. Instead, she urged the judge to allow licensed doctors to perform abortions and to let the old ban apply only to unlicensed physicians.

The judge favored Mr. Branovich, saying that because the injunction was issued only because of Roe’s decision in 1973, it should be removed entirely.

Ms Johnson wrote, “The court found the attempt to reconcile fifty years of legislative activity in terms of the motion and the record to be procedurally unreasonable.” “While there may be legal questions the parties wish to resolve in relation to the Arizona statutes on abortion, those questions are not for this Court to decide.”

On June 24, overturning the row, the High Court said that states can regulate abortion as they wish.

A doctor running an abortion clinic said she was disappointed but not surprised by the decision.

“It goes with what I’ve been saying for the time being—it’s the intention of the people running this state that abortion should be illegal here,” said Dr. DeShawn Taylor. “Of course we want to hold hope in the back of our mind, but in the front of my mind I’ve been preparing for a complete ban the whole time.”

Republicans control the legislature, and the GOP Gov. Doug Ducey is an anti-abortion anti-abortion who has signed every abortion law that reaches his desk for the past eight years.

The judge, Ms Johnson, said Planned Parenthood was free to file a new challenge. But with Arizona’s strict abortion laws and all seven Supreme Court justices appointed by Republicans, the chances for success appear slim.

What has been allowed in each state has shifted as legislatures and courts have since reversed the row. Prior to Friday’s decision, 12 Republican-led states had a ban on abortion at any point in pregnancy.

In another state, Wisconsin, clinics have stopped providing abortions amid litigation over whether the 1849 ban is in effect. Georgia banned abortion once fetal heart activity was detected. Florida and Utah prohibit kicking after 15 and 18 weeks of gestation, respectively.

The decision comes a day before a new Arizona law bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Ducey in March, the law was enacted in the hope that the Supreme Court would roll back limits on abortion rules. Instead, it reversed the row.

Mr Ducey has argued that the new law he signed takes precedence over pre-state law, but he did not send his lawyers to argue that before Ms Johnson.

The old law was first enacted among a set of laws known as the “Howell Code” adopted by the 1st Arizona Territorial Legislature in 1864. Arizona clinics are performing about 13,000 abortions a year.

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