Arizona top court revives 1864 law that bans nearly all abortions – Times of India


PHOENIX: Arizona’s highest court on Tuesday upheld an 1864 law that bans nearly all abortions, a decision that could have far-reaching consequences for women’s healthcare and poll-year politics in a critical battleground state.
The Arizona Supreme Court said that because the federal right to abortion in Roe v. Wade had been overturned, there was no federal or state law preventing Arizona from enforcing a near-total ban on abortions that had sat dormant for decades.The 1864 law, the court said in a 4-2 decision, “is now enforceable.” But the court also put its ruling on hold for the moment and sent the case back to a lower court to hear additional arguments.
The ruling was focused on a law on the books long before Arizona achieved statehood. It outlaws abortion from the moment of conception, except when necessary to save the life of the mother, and it makes no exceptions for rape or incest. Doctors prosecuted under the law could face fines and two to five years in prison.
The court’s ruling was a stinging loss for abortion-rights supporters, who said it would put women’s health at risk. Attorney general Kris Mayes, a Democrat, called it “unconscionable and an affront to freedom”. The stakes could be significant for Arizona after former President Donald Trump said this week that he thought abortion rights should be left up to the states to decide.


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