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Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich says new state abortion law will go into effect in about 90 days

Former Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich
Posted at 8:09 AM, Jun 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-25 18:26:06-04

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich says a new Arizona law protecting life will go into effect in about 90 days.

"Attorneys General have a solemn responsibility to defend the most vulnerable among us, and that’s exactly what we did today," said Attorney General Brnovich Friday morning. "I look forward to seeing the issue returned to elected representatives where it belongs. As Americans, we believe in the dignity and value of every person."

RELATED: Arizona leaders react to Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

The Supreme Court on Friday ruled to overturn Roe v. Wadeand the fundamental right to abortion that has been the law for almost 50 years. The court ruled 6-3, in an opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito.

The court upheld a Mississippi law that bans all abortion past 15 weeks, with very few medical exceptions.

In March, the governor signed into law a bill outlawing abortions after 15 weeks.

The law passed by the Arizona Legislature is identical to the one upheld in the Supreme Court’s case. It makes it a crime for doctors to perform an abortion after 15 weeks. Mothers will not face criminal charges, but doctors and medical professionals who assist could end up in state prison for a year and lose their medical licenses. The only exception is when the life of the mother is at risk.

The bill, which Governor Doug Ducey signed, includes a provision saying if the Supreme Court repealed Roe v Wade, Arizona's territorial law takes precedence. The law outlaws all abortions except for when the mother's life is at stake.

"The pre-Row law should be enforceable. The pre-Row law was only unenforceable because of the Roe v Wade decision," said Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod.

Last month, Governor Ducey claimed that all abortions would not become illegal in Arizona if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Roe v Wade decision.

In a statement on the repeal of Roe v Wade, Governor Ducey said, "Roe v Wade was a poorly-reasoned ruling that had no Constitutional basis. The Supreme Court has made the right decision by finally overturning it and giving governing power back to the people and the states. I am proud that Arizona has been ranked the most pro-life state in the country. Here, we will continue to cherish life and protect it in every way possible."

The governor believes the law he signed gives women 15 weeks to end their pregnancies without violating the law. But the author of the bill, State Senator Nancy Barto, (R) Phoenix-district 15, says that's not the case.

"Governor Doug Ducey signed Senate Bill 1164 which includes the language that ensures that the underlying pre-Roe law is still in effect under these circumstances," said Barto.

Stefani Lindquist, with ASU's Center for Constitutional Design says Arizona must decide which law it will enforce.

"There's some conflict between those two laws and it'll be interesting to see how the state legislature reconciles that conflict or how the state courts reconcile that conflict," Lindquist said.

It will not be lawmakers who decide. "It will be the courts who will determine this situation and not any person with a differing opinion," said Senator Barto.

The repeal of Roe doesn't take effect for 25 days. Arizona's 15-week abortion ban becomes law in October. The court challenges over what ultimately will be Arizona's abortion law may end up taking a few years.