Supreme Court of Arizona upholds 1864 near-total abortion ban

Abortion law. In image representative image of abortion rights/ courtesy: Unsplash

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IBNS-CMEDIA: The Arizona Supreme Court Tuesday upheld the 160-year-old near-total ban on abortion which means that doctors performing the procedure could be jailed for five years.

The ruling allows an 1864 law in Arizona to stand that made abortion a felony punishable by two to five years in prison for anyone who performs one or helps a woman obtain one.

It sent major political shock waves throughout the state, ensuring that the deeply divisive issue of reproductive rights will feature heavily in November when Arizona along with other states will vote for the US presidential poll.

In a statement issued almost immediately after the news broke, US President Joe Biden slammed the “cruel ban.”

Citing the US Supreme Court’s 2022 ruling that ended a nationwide guarantee of abortion access, Arizona’s top court said the draconian local law, dating back to the US Civil War era, could stand.

Arizona was not even a separate state when the law was drafted and women in the United States at the time had no right to vote.

The law, which was codified in 1901, and again in 1913, includes an exception to save the woman’s life.

The Arizona Supreme Court said it would put its decision on hold for 14 days stating that it would send the case back to a lower court so that the court could consider “additional constitutional challenges” that haven’t yet been cleared up.