Major Development In Swing State’s Abortion Laws

Photo by Marcelo Leal on Unsplash

( – On Monday, the Arizona Supreme Court extended the date for the state’s attorney general to decide whether further legal action should be taken regarding a 160-year-old near-total abortion ban that the state’s lawmakers voted to repeal.

The 90-day extension would mean the more recent law legalizing abortion to 15 weeks of pregnancy would remain in effect.

The extension also gives Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes time to ascertain if it would be necessary to take the case to the highest court in the U.S.

Mayes expressed her appreciation for the court’s order, noting that the earliest date the 1864 law could take effect would be September 26. This date takes into account the 90-day extension and a separate 45-day extension offered in another case.

Mayes declared she would “do everything” to guarantee doctors would be able to “care for their patients according to their best judgment,” and not based on the archaic views of legislators 160 years ago.

In April, Arizona’s Supreme Court voted to restore the archaic law, which doesn’t allow an exception for incest or rape, but only if the mother’s life hung in the balance as a result of the pregnancy.

The decision also meant that doctors who facilitated abortions could be prosecuted and face up to five years in prison should they be convicted.

The state’s Legislature proceeded to narrowly repeal the nearly two-century-old law. However, the repeal wouldn’t take effect until after lawmakers wrap up their current session. It is unclear whether there would be a period before the repeal took effect that the near-total abortion ban would be in effect and could be enforced.

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