Arizona Supreme Court Rejects Planned Parenthood’s Bid for Faster Repeal of Abortion Ban

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes said in a statement that her office would use the time to consider the ’the best legal course of action to take from here.’

The Arizona Supreme Court has rejected a request by Planned Parenthood to accelerate the repeal of a near-total abortion ban while granting the state attorney general’s request to pause enforcement of the ban for an additional 90 days so she can decide on further legal action.

In a May 13 order, the Arizona Supreme Court rejected Planned Parenthood’s request for the high court to immediately halt its April 10 judgment that affirmed Arizona’s 160-year-old pro-life law, which made it a crime to provide an abortion unless the mother’s life is in danger.

However, in the same May 13 order, the high court sided with a request by Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes to pause enforcement of the abortion ban for another 90 days to allow her to potentially petition the U.S. Supreme Court to undo the pro-life law.

“I am grateful that the Arizona Supreme Court has stayed enforcement of the 1864 law and granted our motion to stay the mandate in this case for another 90 days,” Ms. Mayes said in a statement, adding that her office would use the time to consider the “the best legal course of action to take from here.”

The enforcement delay means that Arizona is now operating under a 15-week abortion ban passed in 2022 that makes exceptions for medical emergencies but not rape or incest.

‘Life Is a Human Right’

The Arizona Supreme Court’s April ruling to uphold the Civil-War-era abortion ban was made possible by the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to decide for themselves on abortion laws.

The Arizona Supreme Court’s decision to allow the 1864 abortion ban to be enforced triggered opposition by pro-abortion rights groups and lawmakers, leading to a May 1 vote by the Arizona state legislature to repeal the pro-life law.

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Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs quickly signed the bill into law a day after the vote, though she would later say that the fight is “so far from over” because the 1864 abortion ban remains Arizona law despite the legislature’s vote to repeal it because the repeal wouldn’t go into effect until 90 days after the legislature adjourns for the year.

Previously, Ms. Mayes’s office said that the abortion ban would go into effect on June 27, with the Arizona Supreme Court’s May 13 decision pushing that back to Sept. 26.

A coalition of pro-abortion rights groups, known as Arizona for Abortion Access, is seeking to get a referendum on the ballot in the November 2024 election to have abortion enshrined as a right in the Arizona state constitution.

The group issued a statement on May 13 in response to the Arizona Supreme Court order, voicing opposition to the prevailing 15-week abortion ban.

“Another day, another ruling, another example of why we must pass the Arizona Abortion Access Act,” the group said. “With this order, Arizonans are still subjected to another extreme ban, one that punishes patients experiencing pregnancy complications and survivors of rape and incest.”

By contrast, attorneys for Alliance Defending Freedom issued a response to the Arizona Supreme Court order, asking the court to finalize its judgment affirming the state’s pro-life law.

“Life is a human right, and Arizona’s pro-life law respects that fundamental right. Life begins at conception,” Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Jake Warner said in a statement.

“Arizona’s pro-life law has protected unborn children for over 100 years, and while we are deeply saddened by the legislature’s recent vote to repeal the law, it won’t take effect immediately, as the legislature intentionally decided,“ Mr. Warner continued. ”And though the court paused its judgment, we will continue working to protect unborn children and promote real support and health care for Arizona families.”

Angela Florez, the CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona, celebrated the delay of enforcement of the abortion ban.

“Planned Parenthood Arizona will continue to provide abortion care through 15 weeks of pregnancy and we remain focused on ensuring patients have access to abortion care for as long as legally possible,” Ms. Florez told media outlets in a statement.


The abortion ban at issue in the case was first enacted in the 1860s, before Arizona became a state, and was in effect until the U.S. Supreme Court made its Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. An injunction was later put on Arizona’s abortion ban in the same year.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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