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White House condemns ‘catastrophic’ decision allowing Arizona anti-abortion law of 1864 to take effect

The White House has warned of the ‘catastrophic, dangerous and unacceptable’ consequences of a judge’s decision upholding Arizona’s 158-year-old anti-abortion law, originally written 48 years before Arizona was even a state.

In a Sept. 24 statement, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre warned that the judge’s decision “will set Arizona women back more than a century.”

“As we await the next steps in any implementation of the law, the potential consequences of this decision are catastrophic, dangerous and unacceptable,” she said.

The law – written more than 100 years before the US Supreme Court’s decision in Roe vs. Wade overturned state-level bans on abortion care – banned all abortions in the state except to save the patient’s life.

The abortion ban was updated in 1901. Arizona became a state in 1912. But the sweeping abortion ban from the state’s territorial history decades earlier remained in the books, but unenforced, for more than a century, despite the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 ruling that the law and others like it were unconstitutional.

With the decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on June 24, the country’s high court revoked a constitutional right to abortion care and determined that such decisions are solely up to individual states.

In her Sept. 23 decision, Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson cited the recent Dobbs ruling and said the court “finds that because the legal basis of the judgment rendered in 1973 has now been overturned , he must set aside the judgment in its entirety.”

Republican State Attorney General Mark Brnovich celebrated the judge’s decision.

“We commend the court for upholding the will of the legislature and for bringing clarity and consistency to this important issue,” he said.

The judge lifted the injunction a day before a state law took effect restricting abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Conflicting restrictions on abortion care in the state have caused confusion and chaos among providers and advocates, while Mr. Brnovich has pushed for tougher restrictions and Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has defended the 15 week ban.

The law of 1863, recently confirmed, provides for a sentence of two to five years in prison for anyone who helps a woman to have an abortion.

“If this ruling is upheld, healthcare providers risk up to five years in prison for fulfilling their duty of care; victims of rape and incest would be forced to bear the children of their attackers; and women with health problems would face serious health risks,” according to Ms. Jean-Pierre.

Abortion rights advocates have pledged to continue to fight the law in court and campaign against Mr. Brnovich, who has a time limit and faces Democratic candidate Kris Mayes in November.

Banning abortion will have a “devastating effect across our borders and beyond,” according to Caroline Mello Roberson, Southwest Regional Director of NARAL Pro-Choice. “We are working alongside our 75,000 members across the Copper State to send a clear message: when you come for our rights, we come for your seat.”

Planned Parenthood Arizona has condemned the revival of the “archaic” law which the organization says will set “Arizonans back almost 150 years”.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs also said in a statement that she “mourned” the decision and pledged to repeal anti-abortion legislation, if elected.

“Medical professionals will now be forced to think twice and call their attorney before providing patients with often necessary and life-saving care,” she said in a statement.

Ms Jean-Pierre said the “retrospective ruling illustrates the disturbing trend across the country of Republican officials at the local and national levels determined to disenfranchise women, including through the proposed nationwide abortion ban. by Senator Graham,” referring to South Carolina. Senator Lindsey Graham’s recent proposal to ban abortion nationwide at 15 weeks.

More than a dozen states have effectively banned all abortions, with few exceptions, in recent months. As many as 26 states are expected to impose harsh bans or restrictions on abortion care without constitutional protections in place under Deer.

The Independent Gt

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