Arizona Supreme Court Grants Attorney General 90-Day Extension for Abortion Ban Strategy

The Arizona Supreme Court has granted the state’s attorney general an additional 90 days to determine the next steps in the legal proceedings concerning the 160-year-old near-total abortion ban. This comes after lawmakers voted in favor of repealing the ban.

The recent order by the Arizona Supreme Court upholds the law that permits abortion up to 15 weeks of pregnancy. This decision also grants Attorney General Kris Mayes additional time to consider whether to escalate the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mayes expressed his gratitude for the order and mentioned that the 1864 law can now be enforced no earlier than September 26. This includes the 90 days that have been granted, along with an additional 45 days as stipulated in a separate case.

Mayes expressed his determination to support doctors in delivering medical care to their patients based on their professional judgment, rather than being restricted by the beliefs of the territorial legislature from 160 years ago.

In April, Arizona’s Supreme Court made the decision to reinstate the previous law regarding abortion, which does not include any exceptions for cases of rape or incest. Under this law, abortions are only permitted when the mother’s life is at risk. The majority opinion of the court indicated that doctors could potentially face prosecution and a maximum prison sentence of five years if found guilty.

The Civil War-era law was narrowly repealed by the Legislature, but its effects will not be nullified until 90 days after the conclusion of the current annual session of lawmakers. There has been uncertainty regarding whether the older ban would still be enforced during the period before the repeal comes into effect.

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Despite the latest delay, the anti-abortion group, Alliance Defending Freedom, remains determined to continue fighting for the ban.

“The pro-life law in Arizona has been instrumental in safeguarding the lives of unborn children for more than a century,” stated Jake Warner, the senior counsel of the group. He added, “Our commitment to protecting unborn children and ensuring genuine support and healthcare for Arizona families remains steadfast.”

Angela Florez, the CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona, expressed her support for the decision. According to her, the organization will continue offering abortion care up to 15 weeks of pregnancy. Their primary goal is to ensure that patients have access to abortion care for the longest duration allowed by law.

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