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Arizona doctors can perform abortions in California under new law

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(The Center Square) – California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation on Thursday that would allow doctors who perform abortions in Arizona to “temporarily” come to the Golden State to do the procedure on Arizonans.

Senate Bill 233 will go into effect right away, and it will allow providers “in good standing to register,” according to a news release.

“Arizona Republicans tried to turn back the clock to 1864 to impose a near-total abortion ban across their state. We refuse to stand by and acquiesce to their oppressive and dangerous attacks on women,” Newsom said in a statement on Thursday.

“I’m grateful for the California Legislative Women’s Caucus and all our partners for moving quickly to provide this backstop. California stands ready to protect reproductive freedom,” he continued.

In May, Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs repealed a law created in 1864 and recodified in 1977 that essentially banned abortions in Arizona unless a mother’s life is at risk. However, repeals take 90 days after the completion of the legislative session to take effect, and the session is still ongoing. The Arizona Supreme Court ruled that the stay could be lifted on the older abortion law over the current 15-week law, but the earliest the ban could become “enforceable” is September 26, according to Attorney General Kris Mayes’ office.

Mayes’ office said there could be a small window where the California legislation could come in handy for those seeking abortions.

“With the recent repeal of the 1864 law, the urgent need for this legislation has lessened,” a spokesperson for her office told The Center Square. “However, there may be a period this summer before the repeal takes effect when the 1864 law is in effect here, and California licensure might be an option Arizona providers would like to explore. We appreciate the swift response from Governor Newsom and Attorney General Bonta to Arizona’s needs.”

Hobbs’ office declined to comment on the California legislation when The Center Square inquired.

Arizona voters will soon have a more definitive say on the state’s abortion policy. A proposed constitutional amendment expected to be on the ballot would permit abortion up until “fetal viability,” but opponents fear the language of the amendment would open the door for abortions beyond that point.

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