An Arizona judge won’t suspend her ruling that halted abortions in the state : NPR

Celina Washburn protests outside the Arizona Capitol to voice her disagreement with the abortion ruling, on September 23, 2022, in Phoenix.

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Matt York / AP

Celina Washburn protests outside the Arizona Capitol to voice her disagreement with the abortion ruling, on September 23, 2022, in Phoenix.

Matt York / AP

PHOENIX — An Arizona judge on Friday denied her order to enforce a pre-state law that makes it a crime to suspend the provision of abortion, saying abortion rights groups have asked her to. blocking this order is unlikely to win the case.

The ruling from Judge Kellie Johnson of Pima County Superior Court means that the state’s abortion providers will not be able to restart procedures. Abortion is pause on September 23 when Johnson ruled that the 1973 ban had to be lifted so that the Civil War law could be enforced.

Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich asked for an order to lift the ban. The attorneys at his office told the judge that, because June 24 Decision of the US Supreme Court says women have no constitutional right to have an abortion, there is no legal reason to block the old law.

Planned Parenthood and its Arizona branch urged Johnson to keep the order issued shortly after Roe’s lawsuit against Wade was decided in 1973. They argued that legislation enacted by the state Legislature over the next 50 years should take precedence. more advanced.

Planned Parenthood’s attorneys on Monday asked Johnson to postpone her ruling to allow for an appeal.

Before last Friday’s ruling allowing enforcement of the old law, abortion was legal in Arizona for as long as the fetus was still alive, usually around 24 weeks’ gestation. But on Saturday, a law enacted by the state Legislature last spring banning abortions at 15 weeks went into effect.

Governor Doug Ducey has said the legislation takes precedence, but his lawyers have not sought to contest that position in court. Brnovich and several Republican lawmakers insist the old law is in effect.

Brittany Fonteno, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Arizona, said she was “outraged” by the ruling.

“It is unacceptable for Arizonans to wake up every morning to their elected officials making conflicting statements about what law is in effect or claiming that they do not know, but the courts have refused to offer any clarity or relief,” Fonteno said.

Several Arizona clinics have referred patients to providers in California and New Mexico since Johnson lifted the old law’s ban, and they’re prepared to restart abortions. Pre-state laws give sentences of two to five years in prison for doctors or anyone else who assists in abortion. Last year, the Legislature repealed a law that allowed charging women to seek abortions

Ashleigh Feiring, a nurse at abortion provider Camelback Family Planning in Phoenix, said her office will continue to find ways to serve patients.

“We’re trying to think of everything we can to remove loopholes in the law,” Feiring said on Friday, adding that the facility would be willing to offer the procedure again.

Feiring said her office continues to care after miscarriage and provides patients with ultrasounds so they know how many weeks pregnant they can be. This is important, because the abortion pill is only used during the first 10-12 weeks of pregnancy.

Feiring said some patients can get an abortion prescription from a provider in Sweden and have it mailed to a pharmacy in India, but that takes about three weeks. Arizona law prohibits sending abortion pills in the mail, and U.S. providers generally won’t accept that risk.

Since Roe was debunked, Arizona and 13 other states have banned abortion at any stage of pregnancy. About 13,000 people in Arizona have abortions each year, the Arizona Department of Health reports.


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