Arizona Supreme Court Reinstates Historic Abortion Ban

The Arizona Supreme Court has reinstated a pre-statehood ban on nearly all abortions, dating back to 1864. This decision revives a law that was enacted over a century and a half ago, long before Arizona’s admission as a state and the establishment of women’s suffrage.

The ruling has sparked a significant backlash, as it imposes stringent restrictions on reproductive rights in a state where abortion was already limited to 15 weeks of gestation. The revived statute prohibits abortions except when necessary to save the life of the pregnant individual, effectively eliminating access to the procedure for the vast majority of cases.

The court’s decision, which is set to take effect 14 days after the ruling, has been met with dismay by abortion rights advocates. It comes at a time when the nation is deeply divided on the issue, following the U.S. Supreme Court‘s overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes, a Democrat, has expressed her opposition to the ruling, stating that it is “unconscionable and an affront to freedom.” She has vowed not to prosecute any doctor or woman under the archaic law during her tenure.

The ruling is expected to have significant implications for the upcoming November elections, as a ballot measure to protect abortion rights in Arizona’s constitution is likely to be presented to voters. The outcome of this legal and political battle will be closely watched, as it may set a precedent for other states grappling with the issue of abortion rights.

President Biden has expressed strong opposition to the Arizona Supreme Court’s decision to reinstate the near-total abortion ban from 1864. He described the ruling as “extreme and dangerous,” emphasizing that it fails to protect women even in cases where their health is at risk or in instances of rape or incest. Biden has vowed to fight for reproductive rights and called on Congress to pass legislation that would restore the protections of Roe v. Wade for women in every state. The President’s stance reflects the administration’s commitment to supporting a woman’s right to choose, aligning with the majority of Americans who hold similar views on the issue.

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