Arizona Court Approves Delay of Abortion Ban Enforcement

Arizona Court Approves Delay of Abortion Ban Enforcement

( – Arizona’s Supreme Court has delayed the enforcement of the state’s controversial 1864 abortion law to allow Attorney General Kris Mayes more time to consider her options. Democrat Mayes requested the time extension, which pushed enforcement back to September, because she believed the initial ruling was wrong and wanted time to consider “the best legal course of action.”

In April, the state Supreme Court ruled that the Civil War-era legislation was still applicable in the Grand Canyon state. The 1864 law imposes a jail term of up to five years on anyone who performs or assists someone in receiving an abortion. The only exception to the rule is to save the mother’s life.

In May, the Arizona legislature voted to repeal the 1864 legislation, but the old law was due to take effect in June, whereas its repeal would not apply until 90 days after the legislative session ended. This meant that the 1864 law could be enforceable well into the second half of 2024, depending on when the legislative session concludes. Currently, Arizona’s abortion laws allow the procedure up to the 15th week of pregnancy.

Alliance Defending Freedom, a pro-life group, said they were disappointed by the Supreme Court decision to delay implementation of the 1864 laws but vowed to keep fighting and “continue working to protect unborn children.” Planned Parenthood Arizona CEO Angela Florez promised to continue providing abortion within the law.

The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Civil War legislation provoked outrage across the country. Arizona’s status as a crucial swing state that could help determine not only the next occupant of the Oval Office but also the Senate makeup meant that Republicans responded to the ruling with caution. Senate candidate Kari Lake, for example, did not support the 1864 legislation but called for GOP colleagues in the state legislature to argue for its amendment.

In the state House, three Republicans joined Democrats to vote for the law’s repeal. In the Senate, two GOP Senators followed suit.

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