A Pima County Superior Court judge has lifted an injunction that was placed on Arizona’s abortion statute as a result of the Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich asked the Court to vacate the state court’s 1973 injunction on Arizona’s abortion law.
The Arizona law in question was in effect on January 22, 1973 when Roe v. Wade was handed down by U.S. Supreme Court, and was reaffirmed by Arizona Legislature in 1977.
The injunction was put in place after Roe v. Wade was decided. It banned the Attorney General’s Office and Pima County from prosecuting cases under A.R.S. § 13-3603, which prohibits people from performing abortions unless necessary to save the life of the mother.
Despite the injunction, the statute has remained a part of Arizona law. Even in its most recent session, the Arizona legislature noted that it was not “repeal[ing] … section 13-3603.”
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich applauded the ruling.
“We applaud the court for upholding the will of the legislature and providing clarity and uniformity on this important issue. I have and will continue to protect the most vulnerable Arizonans,” said Brnovich in a tweet.
A Pima County judge lifted an injunction that was placed on AZ’s abortion statute. We applaud the court for upholding the will of the legislature and providing clarity and uniformity on this important issue. I have and will continue to protect the most vulnerable Arizonans.
— Mark Brnovich (@GeneralBrnovich) September 23, 2022
The chair of the Arizona Democratic Party, Arizona State Senator Raquel Terán, released a blistering condemnation of the ruling.
“Today I am heart sick for my fellow Arizonans. I am horrified that Arizona is now a state where a fringe minority has taken our state back in time over a century, putting the lives of so many in the balance. Make no mistake, when the people are unable to seek out abortions, they will die – families and communities will suffer because Republicans will stop at nothing to control our bodies,” said Terán. “Meanwhile, Arizona Democrats are on the frontlines fighting for freedom – and we still stop at nothing.”
Contrary to Terán’s hyperbole, Cathi Herrod, president of the pro-life Center For Arizona Policy, said in a tweet that that the Arizona “Legislature repealed the pre-Roe law punishing the mother in 2021. No law allows the woman to be punished for having an abortion.”
Incorrect. The AZ Legislature repealed the pre-Roe law punishing the mother in 2021. No law allows the woman to be punished for having an abortion. https://t.co/2rdBJhmW9t
— Cathi Herrod (@cathiherrod) September 23, 2022
Herrod later released the following statement:
Most abortions are now illegal in Arizona, shifting the focus to caring for women facing unplanned pregnancies. Judge Kellie Johnson’s ruling today upholding the law that was in effect in 1973 when Roe v Wade was wrongly decided will protect unborn babies and their mothers. And nearly 50 pregnancy resource centers throughout the state stand ready to ensure no woman stands alone.
Abortion ends one life and puts the woman at risk of physical and emotional harm. Arizona’s abortion law effectively affirms that life is a human right and should not be sacrificed unless the mother’s life is at risk.
Judge Johnson rightly lifted a 1973 injunction on Pima County and the Arizona Attorney General that put the pre-Roe law on hold due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Roe.
Gratefully, there are dozens of pregnancy resource centers throughout the state that provide food, prenatal care, parenting classes, adoption support, car seats, strollers, and much more at no cost to women facing unplanned pregnancies.
Arizona can and will care for both mother and her unborn child.
I am grateful to Arizona’s Attorney General Mark Brnovich and his team for their work to uphold the law.
Tucson Mayor Regina Romero called the ruling “a punch in the gut for women and people who can become pregnant.”