Attorney General: claims of legal confusion over Arizona abortion laws are unfounded

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By Gloria Rebecca Gomez || Arizona Mirror

Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed his opposition to Planned Parenthood of Arizona’s request that a judge’s ruling that recently reinstated a 1864 abortion ban be put on hold, roundly dismissing the organization’s argument that a tangled legal landscape will cause providers to put off care, ultimately harming women. 

Last week, Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson ruled that an injunction blocking the 1864 total abortion ban is no longer relevant, after Roe v. Wade was overturned earlier this year. The injunction was implemented while Roe still protected the right to abortion. 

Planned Parenthood of Arizona responded by asking the court to stay the ban while the case works its way through the appeal process, saying it was in conflict with more recent abortion legislation and the resulting legal uncertainty could lead to delayed care for women. 

Brnovich disagrees, and says that new abortion legislation actually works in harmony with the territorial-era ban. 

Planned Parenthood of Arizona claimed in its most recent court filing that Arizona has a 24-hour waiting period before women can undergo an abortion procedure or receive abortion medication that conflicts with the 1864 law. 

But Brnovich said the ban actually works in tandem with the more recent 24-hour law. Under the reinstated ban, no abortions except for those to save the life of the mother may be performed. If there is a medical emergency, he argued, then the 24-hour limit may be ignored. If there is no medical emergency but the woman still needs an abortion to save her life, then the 24-hour rule will be obeyed.

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