Discussion on Arizona’s Recent Abortion Ruling

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Arizona has recently reinstated a ban on abortion with a law dating back to 1901. The ban was previously blocked in 1973 when the Supreme Court determined abortions were a constitutional right in Roe v. Wade.

Jennifer L. Piatt, JD/ Faculty Co-Director at ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, provided insight on what this means for those seeking abortions.

“On Friday, a superior court judge in Pima County essentially said that she was going to lift an injunction on an 1864 pre-statehood law in Arizona that bans all abortions, except in the cases of medical emergency,” Piatt said.

Now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned, this injunction has been lifted.

“There’s a lot of confusion stemming out of this because we have now an 1864 law governing practitioners in Arizona, while on Saturday a 15-week ban on abortion became the law as well,”Piatt said.

There has been a lot of confusion concerning the two laws that are now in effect.

“It’s a great question that’s going to require a lot of litigation to resolve exactly where we’re at. How can these two laws that clearly conflict with each other be enforced at the same time?” Piatt said.

Yesterday, Planned Parenthood filed a request for an emergency stay to block this judge’s ruling. This is because the 15 week ban and various other laws in Arizona are still there to govern and allow abortion.

“How can we consistently apply those laws with an 1864 full abortion ban?” Piatt said. “It’s very confusing.”

Does this Ruling Make Sense?

“No, it doesn’t, because you cannot actually apply and enforce all of these laws at the same time. So in essence, you’re, as the court, nullifying laws. We’re gonna have to have a lot of litigation to spell out how we deal with this in the future. That’s what’s coming up,” Piatt said.

Jennifer L. Piatt, JD/ Faculty Co-Director, ASU's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

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