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Arizona Attorney General Strongly Criticizes Near-Total Abortion Ban After Court Revives 1864 Law Calling it ‘Draconian’ and ‘Unconscionable’

Arizona’s Supreme Court upheld a 123-year-old penal code provision that bans nearly all abortions except to save the life of the mother. After the ruling, the state’s attorney general Kris Mayes vowed not to prosecute abortion providers and called the

Arizona’s Supreme Court confirmed an old provision within the penal code from 123 years ago that prohibits almost all abortions unless necessary to save the mother's life. Following the decision, the state’s attorney general Kris Mayes stated that he will not pursue legal action against abortion providers and described the law as “draconian,” noting its origins dating back to 1864.

Prior to the recent ruling, Arizona had been enforcing a 15-week abortion ban, but the previous law now renders even that restriction unlawful without any exceptions for rape or incest. It also requires a prison sentence of two to five years for abortion providers. A two-week delay is in place before the ruling takes effect, yet the state’s leaders have already voiced opposition to it.

Mayes, a member of the Democratic party, expressed in a statement that “no woman or doctor will face prosecution under this harsh law in this state.” She also remarked, “The decision by the Arizona Supreme Court today is unacceptable and goes against freedom. Let there be no doubt, by essentially invalidating a law enacted this century and replacing it with one from 160 years ago, the Court has put the health and lives of Arizonans at risk.”

Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs (D) also commented after the ruling:

It is a dark day in Arizona. Just now, the Arizona Supreme Court issued its opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Mayes, upholding one of the most extreme abortion bans in the country. And while it is currently stayed, we continue to live under an unacceptable ban, a law that still strips Arizonans of their personal autonomy and has no exceptions for women who are the victims of rape or incest, or any regard for pregnancy complications.

President Joe Biden, who strongly criticized criticized former President Donald Trump’s statement on abortion on Monday, also responded in response to the Arizona ruling stating: “Millions of Arizonans will soon live under an even more extreme and dangerous abortion ban, which fails to protect women even when their health is at risk or in tragic cases of rape or incest.”

Watch the video above via CNN.

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