Arizona Supreme Court delays enforcement of 1864 abortion ban

Arizona Supreme Court delays enforcement of 1864 abortion ban
  • PublishedMay 14, 2024

The Arizona Supreme Court delayed enforcement of the state’s recently revived 1864 abortion ban, according to an order filed Monday. The order allows for a 90-day stay requested by the state’s attorney general.

Arizona Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs signed a repeal of the 1864 abortion ban on May 2, but the repeal will not be in effect until 90 days after the legislative session ends, CNN previously reported. The state’s legislature is currently in session, meaning the Civil War-era abortion ban could come into effect for a brief period.The stay will be in effect through August 12 so Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes could consider a petition for certiorari to the US Supreme Court, the order said. Another stay could be filed again, according to the order.

Mayes said in a statement she is “grateful” the court stayed the enforcement and said the earliest the 1864 abortion ban can be enforced is September 26, due to an additional 45 days stipulated in a separate case.

“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,” she said.

On Monday, the court also denied a motion from Planned Parenthood Arizona asking the court to stay the 1864 abortion ban until the repeal of that law takes effect.

The repeal of the Civil War-era ban earlier this month was a victory for abortion rights advocates, who have for years tried to overturn the 1864 law that banned abortion at all stages of pregnancy, except to save a mother’s life, and threatened providers with two to five year prison sentences.


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