Phoenix/ Politics & Govt
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Published on April 10, 2024
Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes Slams Supreme Court for Reinstating 19th Century Abortion LawSource: Arizona Attorney General

In a scathing rebuke of the Arizona Supreme Court's latest ruling, Attorney General Kris Mayes condemned the decision to uphold a pre-statehood abortion ban, referring to it as "unconscionable" and a direct hit to personal freedoms. The court ruled Thursday to reinstate a Civil War-era law, effectively nullifying a more recent measure that protected abortion rights—this legal volte-face shaking the foundation of reproductive rights advocacy across Arizona.

The discarded Appeals Court decision, hailed by supporters of reproductive rights, harmonized existing statutes Mayes argued, however, the Supreme Court has chosen to dust off a law from 1864—when Arizona was still a territory and women had no ballot—a move she decries as steps backward rather than acting as stewards of progress and precedent, "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," Mayes said, as reported by the Arizona Attorney General.

The attorney general's office came out swinging against what it sees as a regressive shift in law enforcement surrounding healthcare providers and their patients. According to the Arizona Attorney General, Mayes vowed vigilance and protection for those who might find themselves ensnared by the reinstated law she called draconian, "as long as I am Attorney General, no woman or doctor will be prosecuted under this draconian law in this state."

In her statement, Mayes urged Arizonans to raise their voices in this ongoing ideological battle implying that this court ruling is but a temporary setback in the larger struggle for reproductive autonomy “This is far from the end of the debate on reproductive freedom, and I look forward to the people of Arizona having their say in the matter." With midterms around the corner, the battleground for reproductive rights in Arizona appears to be setting the stage for a heated political showdown.