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1864 law may send people out of state for abortions

Some already go out of state if past AZ’s current 15 week rule
Posted at 6:51 PM, Apr 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-15 21:51:24-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Abortion laws vary widely state to state. That means the ability to travel is becoming important to the ability to get an abortion. With a near-total ban about to kick in in Arizona, abortion providers are keeping an eye on options in other states.

Tucson’s Planned Parenthood Clinic has been very busy since well before the State Supreme Court ruling reinstating the 1864 anti-abortion law. Now abortion advocates are preparing to help more people travel to places where abortions are easier to get.

Planned Parenthood of Arizona says it’s been working to accommodate people under the newer 2022 law that's still in effect until the 1864 law takes over in about 60 days. The newer law forbids abortions after fifteen weeks. The 1864 law only allows abortions to save the life of the mother. It allows no exceptions for rape or incest.

The President of Planned Parenthood of Arizona says the 2022 law’s 15-week restriction has already forced some people to travel to other states that allow more time.

That could be several states surrounding Arizona. Speaking from a clinic in Flagstaff, Angela Florez says Arizona’s mostly referred people to clinics in Southern California but there are fears out of state clinics won’t be able to keep up with demand.


“This is when things start getting really, really tricky. I mean, some of the things that we have experienced have been people who are traveling across you know, we had a patient who traveled all the way from Texas, straight through with small children in her car because this was this was the place that she could come to, with support systems in place for her to receive care. So Craig, I mean, when you ask about what options there are, let's just be really honest, there aren't a lot of good ones.”
She says there are programs to help people cope with the cost of procedures and the cost of travel. And she says Planned Parenthood will continue to offer abortions in Arizona as long as the law allows.

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Craig Smith is a reporter for KGUN 9. With more than 40 years of reporting in cities like Tampa, Houston and Austin, Craig has covered more than 40 Space Shuttle launches and covered historic hurricanes like Katrina, Ivan, Andrew and Hugo. Share your story ideas and important issues with Craig by emailing or by connecting on Facebook and Twitter.