Judicial

Judge reinstates Arizona law which banned most abortions

By Dave Andrusko

On Friday, a day before a law banned abortion after the 15th week was to take effect, Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson lifted the injunction that had prevented the state from enforcing a  1901 law that outlawed most abortions. 

When the Supreme Court handed down its Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, Pima County Superior Court blocked enforcement of the ban with an injunction.

Judge Johnson indicated that the older law, passed in 1864 and updated and codified in 1901, “supersedes the recently passed law that was to take effect Saturday,” Andrew Jeong reported for the Washington Post.

“Most recently in 2022, the legislature enacted a 15-week gestational age limitation on abortion. The legislature expressly included in the session law that the 15-week gestational age limitation” does not “repeal” the older ban, she wrote

Planned Parenthood Arizona “had argued that the state’s conflicting laws should be reconciled so licensed physicians could continue providing abortions under the 15-week regulation, with the much earlier law only applying to others performing the procedure,” The New York Times’ Eliza Fawcett reported.

Not so, said Judge Johnson. “The court finds that because the legal basis for the judgment entered in 1973 has now been overruled, it must vacate the judgment in its entirety,” she wrote. “The court finds an attempt to reconcile 50 years of legislative activity procedurally improper.”

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