Arizona can enforce near-total abortion ban as court lifts decades-old injunction
A judge ruled on Friday that Arizona can enforce a near-total ban on abortions that has been prohibited for almost 50 years, meaning that clinics statewide will have to stop offering the procedures in order to risk criminal charges being brought against doctors and other medical personnel.
The judge overturned a long-standing injunction that had prevented Arizona from enforcing the ban on abortions. The only exemption will be if the woman's life is in danger.
According to the verdict, the state's abortion clinics must close, and anyone wanting an abortion must travel outside of the state. The decision is effective right now, but there is a chance for an appeal.
Since the US Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that guaranteed women a constitutional right to abortion, permitting states to restrict abortion as they see fit, abortion providers have been on a rollercoaster.
The judge's decision, according to Planned Parenthood, "takes Arizonans back to living under an archaic, 150-year-old law," according to the organization's president.
Republican attorney general Mark Brnovich, who had pushed the judge to lift the injunction so that the ban could be put into effect, applauded the ruling.
“We applaud the court for upholding the will of the legislature and providing clarity and uniformity on this important issue,” Brnovich said.
The decision was made in the midst of an election year in which Democrats have made abortion rights a crucial issue. The freedom Arizona women have had to select an abortion, according to Senator Mark Kelly, "will have a devastating impact," in response to a challenge from Republican Blake Masters. Democratic candidate for governor Katie Hobbs referred to it as the outcome of a decades-long Republican assault on the right to abortion that can only be stopped by voters in November.