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Arizona judge confirms 1901 anti-abortion law automatically triggered by end of Roe v. Wade is law

All abortions in Arizona are effectively banned after a judge ruled that a 1901 pre-statehood law that banned the practice is now law in the state.

Arizona bans nearly all abortions after re-enacting the 1901 law automatically triggered by the end of Roe v. Wade: The only exception is for women whose life is in danger from pregnancy

  • An Arizona Superior Court judge ruled Friday that the 1901 abortion ban is now the law in the state regarding the procedure.
  • Judge Kellie Johnson made the decision after a request from the state’s Republican Attorney General, Mark Brnovich.
  • The law has exceptions where the life of the mother is in danger
  • The Republican attorney for Maricopa County, the state’s most populous, said she would use discretion when tasked with prosecuting rape victims.

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All abortions in Arizona are effectively banned after a judge ruled that a 1901 pre-statehood law that banned the practice is now law in the state.

The ban is triggered by the Supreme Court’s vote to overturn Roe v Wade in June. It will come into force from September 24.

Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson’s decision came more than a month after hearing arguments over Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s request to lift the injunction.

Johnson said in the ruling: “The court finds that because the legal basis for the sentence given in 1973 has now been set aside, it must set aside the sentence in its entirety.”

Maricopa County Republican Attorney Rachel Mitchell said she would use discretion in prosecuting rape and incest victims under the new law.

Mitchell said: ‘I don’t want to re-victimize the victim,’ according to KPNX Brahm Resnik.

A court order has long blocked enforcement of a law, on the books since before Arizona became a state, that bans nearly all abortions. The only exemption is if the woman’s life is in danger.

The ruling also means that people seeking abortions will have to go to another state to get one.

The sentence is likely to be appealed. The ruling may also affect the state’s close Senate and gubernatorial races with midterm elections just around the corner.

It had been in place since shortly after the United States Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, who held that women had a constitutional right to abortion.

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The high court struck down Roe on June 24, saying states can regulate abortion as they wish.

What is allowed in each state has changed as legislatures and courts have acted. A ban on abortion at any time during pregnancy is in place in 12 Republican-led states.

In another state, Wisconsin, clinics have stopped performing abortions amid litigation over whether an 1849 ban is in place. Georgia bans abortions once fetal heart activity is detected, and Florida and Utah have bans that take effect after 15 and 18 weeks of gestation, respectively.

This is a developing story. Please check for updates.

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