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Arizona Supreme Court to review abortion laws

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(The Center Square) — The Arizona Supreme Court will review the state’s abortion laws, which puts both the currently enforced 15-week ban and a more restrictive 1864 territorial ban back in play.

A state appeals court previously ruled in December in the case of Planned Parenthood v. Mayes that the 15-week ban that was signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey would take over state law, and Mayes said it’s preferable to the alternative.

“The Arizona Court of Appeals made the right decision by ensuring that the territorial-era ban is harmonized with more recent laws regulating abortion. While the 15-week ban is far from an ideal status quo, lacking crucial exceptions for rape or incest, it is much preferable to a law passed during the Civil War, before Arizona was a state, and decades before women gained the right to vote,” Mayes said in a statement Wednesday.

“I urge the Arizona Supreme Court to affirm this decision. Bottom line: my office and I remain unwavering in our commitment to protecting the rights of Arizonans to make their own private medical decisions without interference, and we will continue to work tirelessly to safeguard these rights,” Mayes continued.

Following the landmark Dobbs decision in June 2022 by the United States Supreme Court, abortion access laws are now left up to the states. Arizona’s conflicting laws quickly generated confusion among abortion stakeholders and the public alike.

Center for Arizona Policy applauded the state court’s decision to review the appeals case ruling.

“The AZ Supreme Court will review a lower court’s ruling on the state’s pre-Roe law limiting abortion to cases where the mother’s life is at risk,” the organization said on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Only Roe stood in the way of enforcing the abortion limitation. With Roe’s fall, the pro-life law should go back into effect, protecting unborn life & women from the dangers of abortion.”

Meanwhile, there’s a petition circulating to make abortion access up until “fetal viability” a ballot initiative in the 2024 election. Organizations such as Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona and NARAL Arizona support the Arizona for Abortion Access Act, The Center Square reported earlier in August.

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