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The Arizona Supreme Court has reinstated a ban on abortion dating back to 1864

People on streets talking about the abortion laws (Via Paul Anderson/Getty Images)

Arizona’s highest court has reinstated a long-standing ban on almost all abortions, originally established in a law from 1864, a time before the state was formed and women could vote.

This decision further restricts reproductive rights in a state where abortion was previously limited to 15 weeks of pregnancy.

The Arizona Supreme Court, with a 4-2 majority, supported the enforcement of this Civil War-era law following advocacy from an anti-abortion doctor and a local prosecutor.

The ruling follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in June 2022, allowing states to impose such bans.

Justice John Lopez, appointed by a Republican governor, stressed the legislature’s authority to shape abortion policies, leading the court to approve enforcement of the 19th-century law. However, enforcement is paused for 14 days to address any remaining legal issues.

Protestors on the streets (Via Dwane Pretorius/Getty Images)

Despite the court’s decision, Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes, a Democrat, criticized the ruling as unjust and stated she would not prosecute under this outdated law.

Planned Parenthood Arizona intends to keep offering abortion services, citing a previous court order that delays enforcement of the 1864 statute.

President Joe Biden condemned the decision, highlighting its impact on women’s rights and suggesting it could lead to a backlash in future elections against Republican efforts targeting abortion rights.

While Arizona faces this controversial issue, voters may decide through a ballot measure aimed at protecting abortion rights in the state constitution.

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