A Pima County judge cleared the way Friday for a 121-year-old near-total ban on abortion to go back into effect in Arizona.
Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson’s ruling reinstated a law from 1901 — more than a decade before Arizona was granted statehood — that banned abortion except to save the life of the mother, KOLD-TV reported. There is no exception for cases of rape or incest, according to the report.
Johnson’s ruling lifted a 1973 court injunction against the ban.
Johnson heard arguments one month ago in the case brought by Planned Parenthood of Tucson against the Arizona attorney general’s office, according to KGUN-TV.
Pro-abortion advocates, including Democratic gubernatorial nominee Katie Hobbs, were infuriated at the ruling.
“I am outraged and devastated by today’s decision by the Pima County Superior Court to allow a territorial ban on abortion to take effect,” Hobbs said, according to KOLD.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that this draconian 1901 law will have dire consequences on the health and well-being of Arizona women and their families.”
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich lauded the new development.
“We applaud the court for upholding the will of the legislature and providing clarity and uniformity on this important issue,” Brnovich wrote in a tweet.
“I have and will continue to protect the most vulnerable Arizonans.”
A Pima County judge lifted an injunction that was placed on AZ’s abortion statute. We applaud the court for upholding the will of the legislature and providing clarity and uniformity on this important issue. I have and will continue to protect the most vulnerable Arizonans.
— Mark Brnovich (@GeneralBrnovich) September 23, 2022
KGUN reported that the 12-decade-old law, now codified in Arizona as Revised Statute 13-3603, “does not mention any timeline for when an abortion may be permitted. There’s no 15-week rule, like the one stated [in] the more recent state law, SB 116.”
The statute mandates a prison sentence of two to five years for abortion providers.
Johnson cited the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent overturning of Roe v. Wade as the legal basis for her ruling.
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