Jul 20, 2022 - Health

Providers challenge Arizona's pre-Roe, near-total abortion ban

Picture of abortion rights protesters

Protesters chant during an abortion rights rally in Tucson, Arizona on July 4, 2022. Photo: SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP via Getty Images

Planned Parenthood Arizona on Wednesday filed a challenge to the state's attorney general's motion to let a near-total, pre-Roe abortion ban take effect.

Driving the news: Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich last week asked a court to lift an injunction on the state's near-total ban, which had been dormant since 1973, when Roe was decided. Now that the Supreme Court has overturned that precedent, Brnovich wants the ban to become enforceable.

  • Following the court's ruling, Brnovich said that the near-total ban was in effect, and as a result, clinics in the state stopped offering the procedure.

Details: Planned Parenthood argues that Brnovich's motion "blatantly" ignores "dozens of laws" that conflict with the pre-Roe ban.

  • The court "has a duty to harmonize all of the Arizona Legislature's enactments as they exist today," Planned Parenthood said in their reponse.
  • Additionally, they argue that "irreparable harm will befall Arizonans if this Court's 1973 injunction is modified to allow the state to enforce [the law] in a manner that criminalizes nearly all abortions in the state."

Context: The law says abortion is illegal in the state unless when necessary to save the pregnant person's life. A provider who conducts an illegal abortion under this law could face up to five years in prison.

What they're saying: "Attorney General Bronvich is playing politics at the expense of Arizonans' lives, and it’s not just despicable and legally unfounded — it’s dangerous," said Brittany Fonteno, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona.

  • "Arizona lawmakers have passed numerous laws over the past 50 years allowing physicians to provide abortions. No archaic, harmful 150-year-old law should dictate our reproductive freedom and how we live our lives today. We won’t go back."

Go deeper: Dashboard: The latest on Roe v. Wade and abortion

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