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AG announces century-old abortion law will be law of land

Oklahoma Abortion Clinic
Posted at 10:31 PM, Jun 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-30 22:10:55-04

PHOENIX — Abortion rights and anti-abortion activists spoke out Wednesday after a sudden announcement by Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

"Infuriated. That's not the answer we need," says Samantha Casino, a community member.

"I personally support that," says Lori Gray of Arizona Life Coalition.

After the overturning of Roe v. Wade, there was confusion about which Arizona abortion law would be in effect down the line.

Brnovich stated on Wednesday that he wants a century-old law to be the one in place in Arizona. This law would ban all abortion procedures with only one exception: if it's done to save a woman's life.

Brittni Thomason, spokesperson for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office sent ABC15 this statement:

“The Arizona Legislature re-codified 13-3603 in 1977. Additionally, recent legislation passed by lawmakers and signed by the governor expresses that 13-3603 is still a valid law and not repealed. Our office will soon be moving to lift the injunction in Pima County in order to provide further clarity and uniformity. However, the county attorneys continue to have primary criminal jurisdiction in matters related to 13-3603.”

Though some don't believe it's that simple.

"Most of the time, that has to be debated by medical boards and that takes time," says Shelby Turingan, a community member.

Abortion providers who go against that law could be prosecuted for up to five years behind bars.

Andrea Greenburg, now 31 weeks pregnant, and her fiancé had complications with a previous pregnancy three years ago.

When she went to the hospital, she found out there were multiple complications. Those issues made it nearly impossible for the baby to survive and put Greenburg's life at risk.

Slipping in and out of consciousness, her fiancé decided to save his partner by ending the pregnancy early.

“It’s kind of villainized you hear a lot of stories about people killing their babies and you kind of put yourself in that category,” said Greenburg.

But she said there really wasn’t a choice.

She’s sharing her story because she’s worried that doctors will now be hesitant to act.

“I can definitely see physicians hesitating if that means we are put in prison, we lose our licenses, we can’t treat the rest of our patients as well,” said Dr. Viktoria Krajnc, with Banner Health.

This week ABC15 also reached out to the Phoenix Mayor to get her reaction.

Mayor Kate Gallego’s team said she has had conversations with the phoenix police chief and abortion enforcement is not a priority.

Things are not set in stone just yet. This matter will go to court as Brnovich works to set aside an injunction from 1973 which blocked the AG's office from enforcing the territorial law.