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Court Rules Arizona Can Enforce Abortion Ban

Arizona will soon join 14 other states that have banned abortion at all stages of pregnancy after a state Supreme Court ruling Tuesday found that officials may enforce an 1864 law criminalizing all abortions except when a woman’s life is at stake, the Associated Press reports. The court said enforcement won’t begin for at least two weeks. However, it could be up to two months, based on an agreement reached in a related case in Arizona, according to state Attorney General Kris Mayes and Planned Parenthood, the plaintiffs in the current case. The law provides no exceptions for rape or incest. Under a near-total ban, the number of abortions in the state is expected to drop from about 1,100 monthly — as estimated by a survey for the Society of Family Planning — to almost zero. The forecast is based on what has happened in other states that ban abortion at all stages of pregnancy.


Arizona Sen. Eva Burch, who has had an abortion since announcing on the Senate floor last month that she was seeking one because her pregnancy wasn’t viable, criticized GOP lawmakers who back the ban. “The fight for reproductive rights is not over in Arizona,” she said, referring to a statewide petition campaign to put the issue on the ballot this fall. “This moment must not slow us down.” According to AP VoteCast, 6 out of 10 Arizona voters in the 2022 midterm elections said they would favor guaranteeing access to legal abortion nationwide. Planned Parenthood officials vowed to continue providing abortions for the short time they are still legal and said they will reinforce networks that help women travel out of state to places like New Mexico and California to access abortion. “Even with today’s ruling, Planned Parenthood Arizona will continue to provide abortion through 15 weeks for a very short period of time,” said Angela Florez, president of the organization’s Arizona chapter.

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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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