United States

Arizona Supreme Court Delays Enforcement Of 160-Year-Old Abortion Ban

Arizona's Supreme Court has extended an additional 90 days for Attorney General Kris Mayes to consider further legal action against a 160-year-old abortion ban. The ruling maintains the current law, allowing abortion up to 15 weeks of pregnancy.

AP
Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes speaks to reporters at the state Capitol in Phoenix, April 9, 2024. Photo: AP
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Arizona's highest court has granted the state's attorney general, Kris Mayes, an additional 90 days to consider further legal action regarding a longstanding near-total ban on abortion. This decision comes after lawmakers voted to repeal the 160-year-old law.

The Arizona Supreme Court's ruling maintains the current law permitting abortion up to 15 weeks of pregnancy while affording Mayes more time to deliberate on whether to escalate the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Expressing gratitude for the extension, Mayes emphasized the need for modern medical practices to prevail over century-old legislation. He underscored his commitment to ensuring that doctors can offer medical care based on their expertise rather than antiquated statutes.

The legal saga began when Arizona's Supreme Court reinstated the older law in April, which lacked exceptions for rape or incest and only allowed abortions in cases endangering the mother's life. This decision raised concerns about ptential prosecutions and penalties for doctors.

Following this ruling, the state legislature narrowly voted to repeal the antiquated law. However, the repeal's implementation is delayed until 90 days after the conclusion of the current legislative session, leaving uncertainty about the enforcement timeline.

Despite the delay, the anti-abortion group Alliance Defending Freedom reaffirmed its commitment to advocating for unborn children's rights. Conversely, Planned Parenthood Arizona CEO Angela Florez welcomed the court's decision, stressing their dedication to providing abortion care within the legal framework.

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