(LifeSiteNews) – The Arizona Supreme Court is slated to review the enforceability of a near-total abortion ban that predates Arizona’s statehood.
The Associated Press reported that current state law limits abortion to the first 15 weeks of pregnancy, but the state also has on the books an 1864 law that prohibits abortion in all cases except to save a mother’s life. Arizona became a full American state in 1912; the law has been blocked from enforcement ever since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down Roe v. Wade in 1973, declaring a “right” to legal abortion.
When the Court overturned Roe last year, allowing states to directly ban abortion for the first time in half a century, it reviewed questions about the validity of the 1864 law, which Planned Parenthood has called “archaic.” Last year, Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson ruled that the law could be enforced, as the sole basis for the old injunction was gone.
The Arizona Court of Appeals later ruled that abortionists could not be charged under the old law because it has been superseded by more recent laws allowing abortion in the first four months of pregnancy. The state’s highest court announced Tuesday that it will review that decision, although when has not yet been revealed.
In response, abortion allies pursue a variety of tactics to preserve abortion “access,” such as easy access to abortion pills, legal protection and financial support of interstate abortion travel, attempting to enshrine “rights” to the practice in state constitutions rather than the U.S. Constitution, constructing new abortion facilities near borders shared by pro-life and pro-abortion states, and making liberal states sanctuaries for those who want to evade or violate the laws of more pro-life neighbors.
President Joe Biden has called on Congress to codify a “right” to abortion in federal law, which would not only restore but expand the Roe status quo by making it illegal for states to pass virtually any pro-life laws. The 2024 elections will determine whether Democrats retain the White House and keep or gain enough seats in Congress to make that happen.
In Arizona, Democrat Gov. Katie Hobbs and Attorney General Kris Mayes have declared that they will not prosecute violators of the state’s current abortion laws, claiming a level of prosecutorial direction that critics argue they do not possess.