Pro-choice groups, Attorney General call for special session on abortion

KMSB News 9-10 p.m. recurring
Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 10:01 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -Thirty pro-choice organizations from around Arizona signed a letter asking Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to call a special session of the legislature to repeal abortion law 13-3603 which bans the procedure in all cases except to save the life of the mother. The law calls for two to five years in prison for anyone assisting a person having an abortion.

It’s because right now, Arizona has two abortion laws on the books, including SB 1164, which bans abortions after 15 weeks.

With competing laws, it causes confusion among the patients as well as doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others.

“It’s also not surprising that a lot of the confusion is happening with such an archaic law this law originally written in 1864, during the civil war era,” said Jenny Guzman of Progress Arizona.

13-3603 was codified into law in 1901, more than a decade before Arizona statehood.

Whether the Governor will call a special session is still questionable. When asked, his office told us “we have received it (the letter) and we are reviewing it now. The office says it’s not determined at this time.

The chances for a special session received some heft after Arizona State Attorney General Mark Brnovich also asked the Governor for a special session to bring clarity to the issue. Brnovich supports the territorial law.

“It is also really crucial for people to know what is actually the law,” Guzman said. “It is a big difference if it is a partial abortion ban or a full abortion ban.”

There is little chance the legislature would repeal the 1901 law because the state legislature in majority Republican which supports the abortion law.

Ducey supports the SB 1164, the 15 week law.

But for many of the groups which signed the letter, repealing the law, which does not appear to be likely, may serve another purpose.

It could shed some light on the lawmakers stance on the issue.

“If they call for special session and decided if they don’t want to repeal this, let them know see for themselves where their lawmakers stand,” Guzman said. “And then make a strong decision when November comes.”