Judge rejects Planned Parenthood request to pause Arizona abortion ban

By Stacey Barchenger || Arizona Republic

A territorial-era law that bans abortions except to save the life of a mother will remain in effect, a Pima County judge said Friday, dashing hopes of abortion rights advocates who sought to put the law on hold while they challenge it in court.

Planned Parenthood Arizona this week asked Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson to put a hold on enforcement of the 1864 law, which prescribes prison terms for abortion providers. The request came three days after Johnson lifted an injunction that had left the 1864 law dormant for nearly five decades.

The latest order will do little to resolve widespread confusion over abortion law in Arizona, which began in June when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned precedent set in its Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion up until a fetus could survive outside of the womb.

Allowing the 1864 law to take effect, as Johnson has now done via two court orders, creates more pressure to resolve the conflicting laws on the books amid a midterm election year in which abortion is a top issue for voters.

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