Abortion: Ariz. Near-Total Ban Won't Take Effect Until 2023

A pre-statehood law banning all abortions — apart from those necessary to save a mother's life — will not be enforced in Arizona until at least 2023, following an agreement between the state's attorney general and Planned Parenthood.

Abortion: Ariz. Near-Total Ban Won't Take Effect Until 2023
Image credit: Gayatri Malhotra / Unsplash

Facts

  • A pre-statehood law banning all abortions — apart from those necessary to save a mother's life — will not be enforced in Arizona until at least 2023, following an agreement between the state's attorney general and Planned Parenthood.
  • Planned Parenthood resumed abortion treatment across Arizona on Thursday following dialogue with Republican AG Mark Brnovich. Although he petitioned a court in Tucson to reinstate the 1864 law — which would see those illegally carrying out abortions face prison terms of 2-5 years — the court of appeals overturned the ruling.
  • Brnovich Tweeted in June that the law, called ARS 13-3603, is "back in effect." He stated, "We will soon be asking the court to vacate the injunction which was put in place following Roe v. Wade in light of the Dobbs decision earlier this month."
  • According to Planned Parenthood Arizona, delays in enforcing the law will provide "additional reassurance" that current legislation giving a 15-week abortion window will continue for the time being.
  • Legal challenges to the reinstatement of pre-statehood abortion restrictions include a suit brought by an abortion doctor based in Phoenix and the Arizona Medical Association. It's likely that any cases will eventually be brought to the Supreme Court — final decisions could take well into the new year.
  • Impending elections could further complicate matters for Arizonians. Due to his failed bid to become a US senator, Brnovich will be leaving his post as attorney general, opening up a race between pro-life GOP nominee Abe Hamadeh and pro-choice Democratic nominee Kris Mayes.

Sources: Axios, Associated Press, Daily Caller, ABC, and NBC.

Narratives

  • Democratic narrative, as provided by The Washington Post. The blocking of ARS 13-3603 is a cause for celebration but Arizonians still face a long and uncertain path to cementing access to abortion care. Reproductive rights are only temporarily restored, and women face a potentially uncertain future under dystopian Republican legislation.
  • Republican narrative, as provided by Daily Caller. Democratic nominees are peddling extremist narratives about pro-life GOP politicians while, at the same time, refusing to clarify their stance. If Democrats are elected in the midterms, Arizona faces the removal of all restrictions on abortion — even possibly on highly contentious partial-birth and sex-selective terminations.

Predictions