Arizona attorney general says territorial-area law banning abortion is in effect

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich says a territorial law banning abortion is in effect.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich says a territorial law banning abortion is in effect.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 4:12 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Arizona’s top prosecutor has weighed in on what the law of the land is when it comes to abortion in the Grand Canyon State. Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in a tweet that the law passed more than 120 years ago that bans abortion is “back in effect,” and it won’t be repealed when SB 1164 was set to go into effect in about three months. State Legislature passed SB 1164 in March and was signed by Gov. Doug Ducey, and would have banned abortions after 15 weeks unless the mother’s health was at risk.

Brnovich said he’ll be asking a judge to ditch the injunction, which was put in place following the 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade. When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, it let the states decide on abortion laws. Senate Republicans had originally said the territorial-area law was in effect that bans abortion except when the mother’s life is at risk. Under ARS 13-3603, anyone who performs an abortion unless it’s to save the life of the mother can face two to five years in prison.

The head of Planned Parenthood Arizona called Brnovich’s announcement “cruel and callous.” “Today’s announcement is a cowardly move by the chief legal officer of our state and will be catastrophic for people seeking abortion care in Arizona,” president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona Brittany Fonteno said in a statement. She added her organization plans to go to court to fight against the law. “No one should be forced to flee their community and cross state lines in secret to access essential health care,” she said.

“It’s a devastating day in Arizona. We are outraged by Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s cruel and callous effort. Abortion providers and their patients have been living in a state of distress, confusion, and chaos since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade just five days ago. Now, our extremist Attorney General has announced his plans to reinstate an antiquated, enjoined 1901 law that will ban all abortion in Arizona until the new law takes effect. It’s unconscionable and drastically out of line with the 7 in 10 Arizonans who support abortion access.”

“Today’s announcement is a cowardly move by the chief legal officer of our state and will be catastrophic for people seeking abortion care in Arizona. Planned Parenthood Arizona is prepared to fight back in court against the Attorney General’s efforts because no one should be forced to flee their community and cross state lines in secret to access essential health care. Everyone deserves the legal right and ability to access abortion, regardless of where they live, and we are hopeful that we will soon be able to block this law in court. But Planned Parenthood’s doors remain open to provide other essential sexual and reproductive health care services. We stand with you. Now, and always.”

Brittany Fonteno, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Arizon