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Arizona may enforce a law from 1864 that makes nearly all abortions illegal, the court has decided

PHOENIX — On Tuesday, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that the state is allowed to enforce its old law making all abortions illegal, except when a mother's life is in danger.

PHOENIX — On Tuesday, the Arizona Supreme Court decided that the state is allowed to enforce its old law making all abortions illegal, except when a mother's life is in danger.

The case looked at whether the state still has to follow a law from before Arizona became a state. The law from 1864 doesn't make exceptions for rape or incest, but it does allow abortions if the mother's life is at risk. The state's highest court looked at a decision made in 2022 by the state Court of Appeals, which said that doctors couldn't be charged for doing the procedure in the first 15 weeks of pregnancy.

A previous court decision stopped the 1864 law from being enforced right after the U.S. Supreme Court made the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, which guaranteed a constitutional right to have an abortion. After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, the state Attorney General, Mark Brnovich, a Republican, convinced a state judge in Tucson to end the block on enforcing the 1864 law. The Democratic Attorney General, Kris Mayes, who came after Brnovich, had wanted the state's highest court to agree with the Court of Appeals and put the 1864 law on hold. Mayes said on Tuesday, “Today’s decision to reimpose a law from a time when Arizona wasn’t a state, the Civil War was raging, and women couldn’t even vote will go down in history as a stain on our state.

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