Abortions in Arizona: What's Next?

Arizona's abortion law has been up for debate since the United States Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade repealed it and the law is in the hands of the states.

After the ruling, Arizona residents were unsure whether the state would return to its near-total 1864 abortion ban or fall back on a 15-week abortion ban signed into law by former Gov. Doug Ducey less than a month before the U.S. Supreme Court became judgment.

In December 2022, an Arizona appeals court ruled that the 15-week law can be interpreted consistent with the Territorial Act of 1864 – meaning abortions in Arizona could be performed before 15 weeks, or if necessary, life to save a pregnant person.

The debate surrounding abortion care was reignited in April 2024 when the Arizona Supreme Court ruled to ban almost all abortions.

In the following weeks, rallies on both sides of the issue took place throughout the valley, and legislators attempted to repeal the 1864 law several times before successfully doing so on May 1.

Gov. Katie Hobbs has told ABC15 multiple times that she will sign the repeal as soon as it reaches her desk. However, Arizonans will remain in legal limbo if Hobbs signs the repeal.

Even if Governor Hobbs signs the repeal, there will likely come a time when almost all abortions will be banned.

The Arizona Supreme Court has not yet issued its final order or mandate in Planned Parenthood of Arizona v. Mayes/Hazelrigg. This can be waived as early as May 13th. The law cannot be enforced until 45 days after the final resolution is issued. If the court issues its final order on May 13, the 1864 ban can be enforced on June 27.

If signed by Governor Hobbs, the repeal will not take effect until 90 days after the end of the legislative session. It is not yet known when the meeting will end.

After the Arizona Senate voted to repeal the 1864 law, Planned Parenthood Arizona filed a petition with the Arizona Supreme Court asking the court not to issue a final order to bypass the period in which the law was suspended would come into force in 1864.

Attorney General Kris Mayes also filed a petition with the Arizona Supreme Court asking for a 90-day stay of the mandate in Planned Parenthood v. Hazelrigg. The motion was reportedly filed so that the AG's office would have more time to decide whether or not to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the state Supreme Court's decision.

If the Supreme Court rejects the petitions filed by Planned Parenthood Arizona and Mayes, almost all abortions could be illegal for months before the repeal takes effect.

Arizonans could also see an abortion measure on the ballot this November after a group collected 500,000 signatures. The group says it will know whether it will officially be on the ballot around August.

Anna Harden

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