AG Mark Brnovich says pre-statehood abortion ban is law of the land in Arizona
PHOENIX — Attorney General Mark Brnovich released a conclusion Wednesday stating a pre-statehood abortion ban that only allows the procedure when it saves the mother’s life is the law of the land in Arizona.
The 1901 law — ARS 13-3603 — will not be repealed in 90 days by a bill signed this legislative session that makes it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion after 15 weeks, with exceptions for the health of the mother, according to Brnovich.
Any person who assists in an abortion that isn’t lifesaving to the mother could be imprisoned between 2-5 years under the 121-year-old law.
Brnovich added that his office would ask a court to vacate an injunction put in place after the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 to allow the 1901 law to go into effect.
“Our office has concluded the Arizona Legislature has made its intentions clear regarding abortion laws,” Brnovich said on Twitter.
KTAR legal expert Barry Markson said even with Brnovich’s opinion, the matter isn’t settled.
Markson said the Republican-led Legislature could step in and work on more restrictive abortion legislation that would clear up any confusion.
The issue could also come down to the courts, according to Markson.
“It’s important to note that the attorney general offering this opinion certainly carries a lot of weight but that does not make it the law,” Markson told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday. “There will likely be court hearings and the courts will decide.”
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Tasler contributed to this report.