Arizona reinstates 1864 abortion ban with jail time for doctors

Arizona's Supreme Court made a significant ruling on Tuesday regarding the enforcement of a near-total abortion ban from 1864. This decision has made Arizona the latest state to effectively ban the procedure, with severe penalties for those involved in providing or seeking an abortion. The ban, which was passed nearly 50 years before Arizona became a state, would result in a felony charge punishable by two to five years in prison for anyone found to be in violation of the law.

The high court's 4-2 decision to uphold the 1864 law means that abortions in the state will now be restricted to cases where the pregnant person's life is in danger, with no exceptions for cases of rape or incest. This ruling has the potential to bring the issue of abortion rights to the forefront of the 2024 election, particularly in a Senate race in Arizona that could have significant implications for the balance of power in the Senate.

The decision in Arizona comes on the heels of a similar ruling in Florida, where a 6-week abortion ban was allowed to begin, but an amendment to enshrine abortion rights into the state constitution was also approved to appear on the November ballot. Similarly, Arizona voters may have the opportunity to decide on an abortion measure in November, as a group advocating for abortion rights has collected enough petition signatures to qualify their measure for the ballot.

While the Arizona abortion ban is expected to take effect within 14 days once other arguments are considered by a trial court, Planned Parenthood Action has assured residents that abortions can still be obtained in the state until the ban officially goes into effect. This ongoing debate over abortion rights highlights the complex and contentious nature of the issue, with strong opinions on both sides of the debate.


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