ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona Gov. Ducey signs bill to outlaw abortion after 15 weeks

Mar 30, 2022, 12:23 PM | Updated: 8:09 pm
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)...
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Wednesday signed a bill that will outlaw abortion after 15 weeks if the U.S. Supreme Court allows it.

Senate Bill 1164 makes it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion after 15 weeks but would prohibit the prosecution of women for receiving one.

Doctors could face felony charges and lose their license to practice medicine. There is an exception for cases when the mother is at risk of death or serious permanent injury, but not for instances of rape or incest.

“In Arizona, we know there is immeasurable value in every life – including preborn life,” Ducey, a Republican, said in a press release. “I believe it is each state’s responsibility to protect them.”

The Arizona abortion legislation mirrors a Mississippi law now being considered by the nation’s high court. The bill explicitly says it does not overrule a state law in place for more than 100 years that would ban abortion outright if the Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that enshrined the right to abortion in law.

Ducey has signed every piece of anti-abortion legislation that has reached his desk since he took office in 2015. He said late last year that he hoped the Supreme Court overturns the Roe decision.

Arizona already has some of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws, including one that would automatically outlaw it if the high court fully overturns Roe.

Of the 13,186 abortions performed in Arizona in 2020, 636 were after 15 weeks of pregnancy, according to the latest data from the Arizona Department of Health Services.

The president of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona called the 15-week ban just the latest in a series of “unrelenting attacks” by Arizona Republicans on a woman’s right to choose.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Arizona Gov. Ducey signs bill to outlaw abortion after 15 weeks