An Arizona judge on Friday said authorities can enforce a more than century-old law banning nearly all abortions in the state, CNN reports.
Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson on Friday granted a request by Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich to lift a court injunction banning the state from enforcing the law. The ban was implemented after the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade in 1973. The Supreme Court earlier this year overturned its precedent in its Dobbs ruling.
“The court finds that because the legal basis for the judgment entered in 1973 has now been overruled, it must vacate the judgment in its entirety,” Johnson wrote.
The ruling effectively outlaws all abortions in the state unless the mother’s life is at risk.
The decision came a day before a 15-week abortion ban passed by the legislature was set to go into effect.
The judgment came over a 1901 abortion law — which was passed as early as 1864, before Arizona even became a state.
The law carries a prison sentence of two to five years for abortion providers.
Groups that fought the ruling argued that reinstating the law would cause confusion on the state’s abortion laws given the 15-week ban passed by the legislature.
“While there may be legal questions the parties seek to resolve regarding Arizona statutes on abortion, those questions are not for this Court to decide here,” Johnson wrote in the decision.
Brittany Fonteno, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona, said Friday’s ruling “has the practical and deplorable result of sending Arizonans back nearly 150 years. No archaic law should dictate our reproductive freedom and how we live our lives today.”
“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,” Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is running for governor, said in a statement. “This cruel law effectively outlaws abortion in Arizona — with no exceptions for rape or incest — and risks women’s fundamental freedom to make their own health care decisions. … To make matters worse, this law mandates jail time for abortion providers. Medical professionals will now be forced to think twice and call their lawyer before providing patients with oftentimes necessary, lifesaving care.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre criticized the Arizona court ruling as “catastrophic, dangerous and unacceptable.”
“Make no mistake: this backwards decision exemplifies the disturbing trend across the country of Republican officials at the local and national level dead-set on stripping women of their rights, including through (South Carolina Sen. Lindsey) Graham’s proposed national abortion ban,” she said in a statement.