Judge unblocks 150-yr-old law

Judge unblocks 150-yr-old law

Judge unblocks 150-yr-old law

Though pro-lifers expect the abortion lobby to contest a recent victory for life, Arizona's near-total abortion ban will likely remain the law of the land.

Cathi Herrod of the Center for Arizona Policy, a nonprofit advocacy group that promotes and defends the foundational value of life, says today in Arizona, abortion is only legal to save the life of the mother – an exception physicians say is almost never necessary.

"An Arizona judge lifted an injunction that had prohibited enforcement of the pro-life law following Roe," Herrod reports. "Now that Roe is gone, our pro-life law is enforceable."

"A person who provides, supplies or administers to a pregnant woman, or procures such woman to take any medicine, drugs or substance, or uses or employs any instrument or other means whatever, with intent thereby to procure the miscarriage of such woman, unless it is necessary to save her life, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than two years nor more than five years," the law reads.

The measure dates back to 1864, before Arizona became a state. It was blocked in 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court in the Roe v. Wade ruling imposed abortion on all states.

Herrod, Cathi (Ctr. for AZ Policy) Herrod

However, last week's ruling, which took effect immediately, means the state's abortions clinics have to shut down, and anyone seeking an abortion will have to go out of state to terminate a preborn child. Also, anyone convicted of performing a surgical abortion or providing drugs for a medication abortion could now face two to five years in prison.

In response, Planned Parenthood and two other large providers have reportedly halted abortions.

Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich had urged the judge to lift the injunction so the ban could be enforced and applauds the court "for upholding the will of the legislature and providing clarity and uniformity on this important issue."

Brnovich has pledged to continue to protect "the most vulnerable Arizonans," and County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson, whose ruling lifted the injunction, pointed out that Planned Parenthood is free to file a new challenge. But with Arizona's tough abortion laws and all seven Supreme Court justices appointed by Republicans, the chances of success appear slim.

Still, Herrod expects a response from abortion proponents.

"The abortion industry and their candidates support abortion up until the moment of birth, so they will do everything possible in the courts [and] at the ballot box to ensure that somehow abortion is still legal up until the moment of birth," the pro-lifer predicts.

She notes that the ruling comes amid an election season in which Democrats have decided to capitalize on so-called abortion rights. On Saturday, Arizona Democrats vowed to fight for women's rights. Katie Hobbs and Kris Mayes, the Democratic nominees for governor and attorney general, implored women not to sit on the sidelines, saying the ruling sets them back more than a century to an era when only men had the right to vote.

Though Republican candidates were silent the day after the ruling; Kari Lake, the GOP gubernatorial candidate for Arizona, appeared on Fox News's Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo on Sunday morning to comment on the issue.

"I'm pro-life. I've never backed away from that, and never will I," she declared. "I want to protect lives, and I want to help women. We've got to make sure we are giving women the support they need. I'm all for healthcare for women."

Lake also asserted that "Democrats have tried to politicize this issue" and called Hobbs' position on abortion "inhumane and immoral."

Meanwhile, even though the abortion camp does have some legal maneuvers it can attempt, Herrod is confident the current law that is saving babies' lives will remain the law of the land in Arizona.