In the wake of the overturning of Roe vs. Wade by the United States Supreme Court, the issue in Arizona became the enforcement of a law that criminalizes virtually all abortions, making most abortions felonies. The law, which is more than one hundred years old and was passed prior to Arizona gaining statehood, became obsolete after the Roe v. Wade decision. Enforcement of the old law had been barred under an injunction issued in 1973.
After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a Superior Court judge in Pima County lifted the 1973 injunction. That would have again made almost every abortion in Arizona a felony. Planned Parenthood appealed the lifting of the injunction, and on October 7, 2022, The Arizona Court of Appeals temporarily reinstated the original injunction.
The public view on abortion in Arizona has changed over the years. In 2014, for example, in a poll by the Pew Research Center, 49% of Arizona adults said they believed abortion should be legal in most or all cases, while 47% felt that that it should be illegal. In 2022, a new poll showed dramatically different results, with 87% of those polled saying that abortion should remain legal in some or all cases. We do note that the sample of the latter poll was relatively small.
In any event, the future of the law on abortion in Arizona remains in doubt at this point. In the meantime, it has become a political football as we approach the elections. In addition, the legislature has passed another bill that outlaws abortion after 15 weeks, but that bill specifically states that it does not supersede the pre-statehood law. If you are confused by all this, you are not alone. Time will tell where the law will settle in Arizona and in the other states.
Law Offices of David A. Black
40 North Central Avenue #1850
Phoenix, AZ 85004