HomePoliticsArizona judge denies Planned Parenthood's request to stay ruling halting all abortions

Arizona judge denies Planned Parenthood’s request to stay ruling halting all abortions


An Arizona judge on Friday rejected a request by Planned Parenthood to suspend an earlier rule that halts all abortions in the state.

Last Friday, Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson announced a decision to allow enforcement of a pre-statehood law that makes it a crime to perform an abortion. She this Friday she rejected the appeal for suspension of that ruling.

In his decision, Johnson said abortion-rights groups are unlikely to prevail in appealing his initial decision, so the abortion ban should still apply.

Both rulings specifically bar abortion providers in the state from performing abortion procedures following the US Supreme Court’s June 24 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which determined that a woman had a constitutional right to an abortion.

Celina Washburn protests outside the Arizona Capitol to express her disagreement with an abortion ruling, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, in Phoenix.
(AP Photo/Matt York, File)

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After the June decision, legal battles raged across the country, including the Pima County dispute, over the legality of abortion.

On September 23, Johnson ruled that a 1973 injunction must be lifted so that the Civil War-era law criminalizing abortion can be enforced.

Planned Parenthood and its Arizona affiliate urged Johnson on Monday to suspend his ruling, citing the 50-year injunction as precedent, while they seek an appeal of the state’s abortion ban.

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Protesters gather outside the Capitol to voice their dissent on an abortion ruling, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, in Phoenix.

Protesters gather outside the Capitol to voice their dissent on an abortion ruling, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, in Phoenix.
(AP Photo/Matt York, File)

On Saturday, a law enacted by the state Legislature last spring that bans abortion at 15 weeks went into effect. The law was signed by Governor Doug Ducey.

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Brittany Fonteno, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Arizona, said she was “outraged” by the ruling.

“It is unconscionable that Arizonans wake up each morning to their elected officials making conflicting statements about what laws are in place or claiming they don’t know, and yet the court has refused to provide clarity or relief,” Fonteno said.

An Arizona judge has ruled that the state can enforce a near total ban on abortions that has been blocked for nearly 50 years.

An Arizona judge has ruled that the state can enforce a near total ban on abortions that has been blocked for nearly 50 years.
(AP Photo/Matt York, File)

Some clinics in Arizona have been referring patients to providers in California and New Mexico.

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The Civil War-era law penalizes violators, such as doctors or anyone else who assists in abortion, with a sentence of two to five years in prison. The Legislature previously repealed a law that allowed women seeking abortions to be punished.

Arizona and 13 other states have banned abortions since Roe was struck down.

Associated Press contributed to this report.



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