Pima County attorney sides with Planned Parenthood on abortion issue

Protests coast to coast were held against the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning Roe v Wade/Deposit photo

By Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services 

Pima County Attorney Laura Conover is siding with Planned Parenthood and against Attorney General Mark Brnovich in his attempt to enforce a ban on virtually all abortions in Arizona.

Pima County Attorney Laura Conover is siding with Planned Parenthood and against Attorney General Mark Brnovich in his bid to enforce a ban on virtually all abortions in Arizona.

And the outcome of that lawsuit could affect the rights of women statewide.

In new court filings, Samuel Brown, her chief civil deputy, acknowledged there is a law on the books dating to territorial days that makes it a crime to terminate a pregnancy except to save the life of the mother.

Pima County Attorney Laura Conover

Brown also noted that a 15-week abortion ban approved earlier this year contains specific language saying it does not repeal the older and stricter law, which carries a penalty of up to five years in prison.

But Brown said that new law did not contain a trigger to repeal the 15-week ban if Roe v. Wade was overturned. And what that means, he told Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson, is that she cannot simply accede to Brnovich’s request to reinstate the territorial law and completely ignore the newer statute, which was validly enacted — a law he said conforms with the Supreme Court decision issued in June, after lawmakers had gone home, that leaves the question of abortion to legislators in each state.

“In granting the relief requested by the attorney general, this court would effectively replace its judgment for that of the Arizona Legislature regarding that which the Legislature had decided not to repeal,” Brown wrote.

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