Arizona Court of Appeals restores abortion rights up to 15 weeks of pregnancy

The federal Court of Appeals of Arizona (United States) has blocked this Friday the decision of a trial court that allowed the application of a territorial law that prohibits ‘de facto’ abortion, so that pregnancy can be interrupted up to 15 weeks of gestation.

This ruling comes after months of uncertainty regarding abortion rights in this state, since after the Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision — the legal precedent that allowed abortion in the country until June — a rule dating back to 1864 that allowed anyone who facilitated the termination of a pregnancy to be sentenced to five years in prison went into effect in Arizona.

However, Governor Doug Ducey maintained that the law passed in 2022 and which went into effect only a month ago prevailed over the previous one and made abortion legal up to the 15th week of pregnancy, except when it was to save the life of the mother, according to the local newspaper ‘The Arizona Republic’.

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In this sense, the judges have indicated in the ruling that “the Arizona courts have the responsibility to try to harmonize the state’s abortion laws”. After what they have estimated that “on the balance of hardships is positioned in favor of granting the suspension” of that rule, “given the great need (…) of legal clarity regarding the application of criminal laws”.

After learning of the ruling, Planned Parenthood Arizona has stated in a statement that it will restart the procedure in its clinics, although it has warned that this is a temporary regulation and that the old rule could regain its validity at a later date.

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“While today’s ruling provides temporary respite for Arizonans, the ongoing threat of this extreme and near-total ban on abortion that disregards the health care of people across the state, including survivors of rape or incest, remains very real,” the organization has assured.

For its part, the state attorney general’s office, Mark Brnovich has conveyed that it “understands that this is an emotional issue” so “they will carefully review the court’s ruling before determining the next step to take.”

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