Speed Reads

Abortion Fights

Arizona judge bans abortion statewide by reinstating 1864 law

An Arizona judge on Friday lifted a 50-year-old injunction on a 19th century abortion ban, all but outlawing the procedure in the state. Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson ruled that Arizona's 1864 abortion law, codified in 1901 then enjoined after the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, supersedes a 15-week ban enacted by the state Legislature that was set to take effect Saturday. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) had asked the courts to clarify which law was valid, pushing for upholding the older, more comprehensive ban.

The 19th century ban now in effect has an exception when the pregnant woman's life is at stake but not for rape, incest, or health risks. "No archaic law should dictate our reproductive freedom and how we live our lives today," said Brittany Fonteno, president of Planned Parenthood Arizona. "This is not the end of the fight."