Arizona Supreme Court Delays Enforcement Of Near-Total Abortion Ban

REUTERS/Rebecca Noble

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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The Arizona Supreme Court delayed the enforcement of an 1864 law that bans abortion in nearly all cases.

Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs signed a repeal of the law on May 2 after the Republican-held state Legislature advanced legislation following weeks of debate since the state Supreme Court allowed the ban to go into effect. The Arizona Supreme Court granted Democratic Attorney General Kris Mayes’ request for a 90-day delay in the 1864 ban’s enforcement, as Hobbs’ repeal doesn’t go into effect until 90 days after the legislative session ends, according to an order.

“During this period, my office will consider the best legal course of action to take from here, including a potential petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Mayes said in a statement. “Under the relevant court orders, the earliest the 1864 law can take effect is now September 26, 2024, counting the 90 days granted by the Court today plus the 45 days stipulated in the separate Isaacson vs. Arizona case.” (RELATED: Arizona Lawmakers Pass Bill Repealing Near-Total Abortion Ban)

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs holds up the signed bill HB2677, the 1864 abortion ban repeal law, in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S., May 2, 2024. (REUTERS/Liliana Salgado)

The 1864 law would ban abortion in all cases except for when the life of the mother is at risk, and makes performing or helping procure the procedure a felony charge punishable by up to five years in prison.

“I continue to believe this case was wrongly decided, and there are issues that merit additional judicial review,” Mayes added. “I will do everything I can to ensure that doctors can provide medical care for their patients according to their best judgment, not the beliefs of the men elected to the territorial legislature 160 years ago.”

Arizona Republicans were forced to take a stance on the issue of abortion following the state Supreme Court’s April 9 landmark decision. Some running in competitive races for the battleground state in 2024 — like GOP Rep. David Schweikert, GOP Rep. Juan Ciscomani, Republican Senate candidate Kari Lake and former President Donald Trump — voiced opposition to the ruling.

A constitutional amendment is also likely to be on the 2024 ballot in Arizona, with advocates saying they surpassed the required amount of signatures on April 2, according to NBC News.

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