Arizona officials react to enforcement of near-total abortion ban

Sep 23, 2022, 5:45 PM | Updated: 7:20 pm

PHOENIX — An Arizona judge ruled Friday the state can enforce a near-total ban on abortions that has been blocked for nearly 50 years.

Politicians from both sides of the aisle as well as a healthcare clinic spoke out on the ground-shaking ruling.

Senator Mark Kelly gave his thoughts almost immediately after the ruling was official.

“This decision will have a devastating impact on the freedom Arizona women have had for decades: to choose an abortion if they need one. Let’s be clear, this is exactly what Blake Masters wants, to completely ban abortions in Arizona and across the country – without even an exception for rape or incest. I will never stop fighting to restore these rights for Arizona women,” Kelly said in a release.

Other Democratic officials joined in with Kelly to speak out.

“A woman’s health care decisions should be between her, her family, and her doctor,” Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said in a release.

“Today’s decision removes basic rights Arizona women have relied upon for over a century and endangers their health, safety, and well-being. Arizona women should not be forced to travel out of state for health care services, and Arizona doctors should not be criminalized for caring for women in need. I’ll continue working with anyone to advance commonsense proposals ensuring women in Arizona and across the country can access the health care they need and have the ability to make their own decisions about their futures.”

“I am outraged and devastated by today’s decision by the Pima County Superior Court to allow a territorial ban on abortion to take effect. There’s no doubt in my mind that this draconian 1901 law will have dire consequences on the health and well-being of Arizona women and their families,” Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said.

Mayor Kate Gallego chimed in and expressed her disappointment in the decision.

“This is a devastating day for all Arizonans, and it underscores the need for the Senate to immediately act, put the filibuster aside, and pass the Women’s Health Protection Act,” Rep. Ruben Gallego said.

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick tweeted that voters must “be outraged and get loud” when it comes to the upcoming primary election.

On top of elected officials, Planned Parenthood of Arizona gave a statement to the thousands of people effected by the law.

“Today’s ruling by the Pima county superior court has the practical and deplorable result of sending Arizonans back nearly 150 years. No archaic law should dictate our reproductive freedom and how we live our lives today,” President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona Brittany Fonteno said in a release.

“We know that today’s ruling does not reflect the will of the people, as Arizonans are overwhelmingly in favor of abortion access. Instead, it is the result of extremist Attorney General Brnovich and other anti-abortion elected officials who are on a mission to strip Arizonans from their right to live under a rule of law that respects our bodily autonomy and reproductive decisions. Let me be clear, this is not the end of the fight, this harmful ban has no place in Arizona and we will persist until that is achieved,” Fonteno added.

Although many are upset with the ruling on Friday, there were some that appreciated what this means for the future of the state.

“We applaud the court for upholding the will of the legislature and providing clarity and uniformity on this important issue. I have and will continue to protect the most vulnerable Arizonans,” Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said.

“Most abortions are now illegal in Arizona, shifting the focus to caring for women facing unplanned pregnancies,” Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod said in a release.

“Judge Kellie Johnson’s ruling today upholding the law that was in effect in 1973 when Roe v Wade was wrongly decided will protect unborn babies and their mothers. And nearly 50 pregnancy resource centers throughout the state stand ready to ensure no woman stands alone. Abortion ends one life and puts the woman at risk of physical and emotional harm. Arizona’s abortion law effectively affirms that life is a human right and should not be sacrificed unless the mother’s life is at risk.”

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Arizona officials react to enforcement of near-total abortion ban