While abortion is currently considered legal in the state— to an extent—Arizona officials have been debating whether or not a near-total abortion ban should go into effect, in addition to considering a new law banning the procedure after 15 weeks.
A superior court judge in Pima County, Judge Kellie Johnson, is expected to give her opinion in a case that will determine which of Arizona’s abortion laws can be enforced.
According to KJZZ News, the confusion regarding Arizona’s abortion access dates back to the 1860s, when pre-statehood lawmakers banned abortions with exceptions only to save the life of the pregnant person. That law, known as Arizona Revised Statute 13-3603, was blocked when the U.S. Supreme Court established a federal right to abortion in the case of Roe v. Wade.
Despite SCOTUS’ decision to overturn the landmark case, the law is still blocked; however, many officials, including the state’s attorney general, believe the statute should now be unblocked and go into effect.
But while officials like Mark Barnovich believe the court should lift the injunction, advocates like Planned Parenthood believe more time is needed to consider the old law and are thus suing the state.
“If the court goes along with the AG’s request and simply lifts the injunction wholesale without any clarification, there will be this total ban, but there will also be all of these other laws and regulations, and it will be unclear how they all interact with one another,” Sarah Mac Dougall, a staff attorney for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told KJZZ News.
Despite Roe v. Wade just being overturned this year, Arizona has made several laws related to abortion since the landmark case was passed. This year alone, the state legislature passed a bill outlawing the procedure after 15 weeks gestation.
However, Mac Dougall noted that the state’s more recent laws suggest elected officials intended to allow abortions to some extent.
“The Arizona Legislature could have had the territorial ban go back into effect if Dobbs were to overturn Roe, but they didn’t,” Mac Dougall said.
Johnson is expected to give her opinion this week, a decision that will decide whether or not abortion will be further restricted in Arizona.
If Johnson sides with the attorney general, the state would go back to its near-total ban, however, if she sides with Planned Parenthood the state’s recently passed law banning abortions after 15 weeks will take effect Sept. 24th.
Either way, an appeal could occur and if it does, the case will likely end up in the Arizona Supreme Court which is conservative.
This piece will be updated when Johnson’s decision is announced.
Source by www.dailykos.com