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Arizona's near-total abortion ban to take effect in about 14 days

The Arizona Supreme Court decided to ban abortions — upholding the state's 1864 near-total abortion law with no exceptions for victims of rape or incest
Abortion ruling presser with AZ Dem Party
Posted at 6:40 PM, Apr 09, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Arizona Supreme Court released its decision on the state's two conflicting abortion bans, upholding the state's 1864 near-total ban, making the historic announcement Tuesday morning.

The decision comes after the Court was asked to rule on whether it was the 1864 ban or the current law allowing legal abortions up to 15 weeks of pregnancy—passed in 2022 prior to the overturning of Roe v. Wade—was the law of the land.

There are no exceptions for victims of rape or incest in the pre-statehood law.

RELATED: Arizona Supreme Court rules to ban nearly all abortions, reverting back to penal code

Women are currently able to legally get an abortion up to 15 weeks until the ban takes effect in about 14 days.

Mayor Regina Romero spoke at the Arizona Democratic Party presser at the Pima County Historic Courthouse after the ruling — calling it "a terrible day for the state of Arizona."

“If we cannot make decisions about our own bodies, ourselves, not politicians, not the state," Mayor Romero said, "then what do we have?”

“One by one, we are walking back. Is it the right to vote next? Is it—I don't even know what to put on that list because I am devastated,” that's what Charlene Mendoza, a fourth-generation Tucsonan told me when I asked her thoughts on the ruling.

Mendoza supports abortion rights.

She said her mother once took advantage of “unsafe services” and fought to have the reproductive rights that Roe v. Wade provided.

She's standing firm with the stance that ending abortions only causes unsafe ones.

“Those of us with indigenous roots," Mendoza said. "Those of us who know our families’ histories, know that there are many ways that abortion will continue to happen. The question is how safe are those abortions, how accessible are those abortions and who has access to them?”

On the other side, Lucy Smith, director of Pro Love Tucson said, "today is an exciting day!”

I asked Smith what she thinks of the idea that ending abortions only causes unsafe ones and she doesn’t agree.

“Women need true healthcare and abortion’s not healthcare," said Smith. "It’s not saving a life, it’s not furthering a life. It’s actually taking an innocent human’s life.”

Smith tells me there’s “always another option” in place of abortion that keep the mother’s health top of mind.

“If it’s legal they’re gonna believe it’s okay, now that it’s not gonna be legal, they’re gonna find the other resources that are available whether it’s at a pregnancy health center, or their parents or a church,” Smith said.

The pre-statehood law says anyone aiding in abortion would get 2-5 years of prison time, but if it's to save the mother's life — they're exempt.

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Jacqueline Aguilar is a multimedia journalist at KGUN 9. Born and raised in Yuma, AZ., she is no stranger to the unforgiving Arizona heat. Now this U of A wildcat is excited to be back in Tucson and is looking forward to involving herself in the community. Share your story ideas with Jacqueline by emailing jacqueline.aguilar@kgun9.com or connecting on Facebook, Instagram or X.