Arizona is using a 121-year-old law — written more than a decade before it achieved statehood — to enforce a near-total abortion ban

Business Insider
Business Insider
Abortion rights protesters chant during a Pro Choice rally at the Tucson Federal Courthouse in Tucson, Arizona on Monday, July 4, 2022.
  • An Arizona judge on Friday ruled in favor of a 1901 law that would ban nearly all abortions in the state.
  • A Pima County judge lifted an injunction that had been in place since Roe v. Wade in 1973.
  • The only exemption to the abortion ban is if the mother's life is in danger.

An Arizona judge on Friday ruled in favor of a 1901 law that would ban abortions in the state at nearly all stages of pregnancy.

Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson granted a request by Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich to lift a court injunction that had been in place since the Supreme Court's decision in the Roe v. Wade case, according to CNN .

"The court finds that because the legal basis for the judgment entered in 1973 has now been overruled, it must vacate the judgment in its entirety," Johnson wrote in the ruling, per CNN.

The law banning abortion was created more than a decade before Arizona became a state in 1912. It was part of a set of laws called the "Howell Code" which states that any person who provides abortion care — unless necessary to save the person's life — "shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than two years nor more than five years."

According to The Associated Press , the ruling will likely be appealed.

The decision came one day before a new law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy was set to take effect in the state. In March, GOP Gov. Doug Ducey signed the bill, which does not allow for an abortion past that timeframe — even in cases of rape or incest, according to Reuters.

In March, the governor wrote a letter : "In Arizona, we know there is immeasurable value in every life – including preborn life. I believe it is each state's responsibility to protect them."

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Vicky Graham

"The unborn" are a convenient group of people to advocate for. They never make demands of you; they are morally uncomplicated, unlike orphans, they don't need money, education, or childcare; they allow you to feel good about yourself without any work at creating or maintaining relationships; and when they are born, you can forget about them, because they cease to be unborn. It's almost as if, by being born, they have died to you. You can love the unborn and advocate for them without substantially challenging your own wealth, power, or privilege, without re-imagining social structures, apologizing, or making reparations to anyone. They are, in short, the perfect people to love if you want to claim you love Jesus but actually dislike people who breathe.


How about collecting all the unwanted children we have right now in the system and everyone against abortion rights send them a few kids to be responsible for instead of the government. Let’s start with every politician and then move down to the working class. And there won’t be newborns for them ton”mold” but regular school age kids and many with disabilities

Andrea Willis

SCOTUS threw this back to the states, the states belong to the people of that particular state, the politicians work for those people, therefore it needs to be out on the ballot and let the people choose! Abortion should not be decided by some old, white rich men!


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