Andrew Turk, Rose Law Group litigation department chair, comments in YourValley about Arizona’s territorial-era abortion ban

By Steve Stockmar | YourValley

A Glendale women’s advocacy group spoke out Friday after the Supreme Court’s controversial decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that guaranteed a constitutional right to abortion.

YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix, an advocate in racial justice and civil rights, empowering women and girls, and for the health and safety of women and girls, for 50 years has been located in Glendale.

“This decision, to allow states to impose their own restrictions, impacts women and pregnant people’s ability to exercise bodily autonomy, to plan their futures, and to access opportunities in work and life. Today our country has regressed,” YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix CEO Debbie Esparza shared in an emailed statement Friday. “We have again allowed people sitting in office to make decisions about our bodies.”

She also encouraged support for a rally over the Supreme Court decision planned at 6 p.m. Friday at the Arizona State Capitol, 1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix.

“Access to abortion stands squarely at the intersection of gender equality, young women’s empowerment, and racial justice,” Esparza stated. “We know limits to abortion access disproportionately harm Black women, girls, lower income, transgender, and gender-nonconforming people who are already marginalized in our health care system.”

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Andrew Turk is the head of the Litigation Department at Rose Law Group in Scottsdale, and is also a judge Pro Tem. He noted Friday that the state does indeed have a 19th-century territorial-era abortion ban that technically is still on the books. That law includes prison time for abortion providers, as well as mandatory prison time for women seeking abortions, although he hasn’t heard calls to revive that statute but rather to create new laws.

There are time periods, Turk explained, between Friday’s Supreme Court decision and state legislatures, like Arizona’s, taking up the issue legally. Doctors still performing abortions between now and then wouldn’t necessarily be held liable for a future new statute.

“That said, if I was a doctor that performed abortions on a regular basis, I would think twice from this day forward whether I wanted to perform a voluntary abortion on a fetus that is potentially 15 weeks or older,” Turk said.

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