Skip to Content

Arizona doctors speak on 1864 abortion ban repeal

PHOENIX (KYMA, KECY) - Following the vote to repeal the state's 1864 abortion ban, Arizona doctors held a virtual gathering to talk about how the ban will harm patients until the repeal takes effect.

In a press release, Arizona doctors, during the virtual meeting, also called for the passage of the Arizona Abortion Access Act in November.

"Arizona's 1864 abortion ban could be in effect through the end of September, meaning pregnant patients will not be able to access abortion care in the state of Arizona for many months. They'll be forced to flee the state for care, if they have the financial and socioeconomic ability to do so. However, if they don't, they'll be forced to remain pregnant, even if they are suffering pregnancy complications with their lives at risk, or are survivors of rape, incest, or human trafficking. We need to pass the Arizona for Abortion Access Act to end this confusion and ensure patients and families are in control of their own health decisions under the guidance and care of their physicians once and for all"

Dr. Cadey Harrel, Tucson family physician and Arizona Lead for the Committee to Protect Health Care

The committee says while the Arizona Legislature voted to repeal the 1864 ban, which Governor Katie Hobbs signed into law, the ban will take effect as early as June 27, "and remain the law of the land until well into the fall."

The committee explains that the repeal bill didn't include an emergency clause, "which would have required two-thirds majorities in both chambers of the Legistature," and without the emergency clause, the repeal won't take effect until 90 days "after the Legislature adjourns for the year."

Furthermore, Arizona will revert to the 15-week ban when the repeal takes effect, according to the committee.

"Like the 1864 ban, the 15-week ban has no exceptions for survivors of rape or incest, or the health of the pregnant person. Abortions are only permitted for medical emergencies, but medicine isn't always black and white, especially when it comes to emergencies. A vague medical emergency exception like the one in Arizona's 15 week ban forces doctors to ask is, '[Is] this patient close enough to death to intervene?' 'How sick must a patient become before I can take the action I know will help save their health, future fertility, and life?'"

Dr. Atsuko Koyama, an abortion provider at Camelback Family Planning in Phoenix and pediatric emergency medicine physician

Dr. Jasleen Chhatwal, a psychiatrist in Tucson, also participated in the virtual gathering and discussed the need for the Arizona Abortion Access Act "amidst escalating efforts of anti-abortion politicians," while adding:

"There is notable concern that the same politicians who celebrated the 1864 ban and voted for the 15 week ban are plotting for November, trying to scam voters. A strategy leak last month showed that legislative Republicans are trying to confuse voters through dishonest, misleading ballot referrals, and/or future legislative actions to ban abortion further. These attacks aren’t going to stop. Anti-abortion extremists in Arizona and across the United States will keep working toward a total abortion ban that robs patients, families, and medical professionals of their right to make their own health care decisions."

"The past few weeks show that passing the Arizona Abortion Access Act is more important than ever. Voting 'yes' on the Arizona Abortion Access Act restores the protections we had under Roe v. Wade. The Arizona Abortion Access Act is based on Arizona values, and the idea that Arizonans have the right to individual autonomy, including the right to make their own health care decisions, without unnecessary government interference. We hope Arizonans will join physicians like us to pass the Arizona Abortion Access Act and put decision making power back in the hands of patients, their physicians, and their families."

Dr. Valerie Sorkin-Wells, Associate Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and retired Scottsdale OB/GYN

Article Topic Follows: Arizona Politics

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Dillon Fuhrman

If you have any story ideas, reach out to him at

Author Profile Photo

Danyelle Burke North

Danyelle Burke North joined the KYMA team in March 2024 as a reporter.

If you have any story ideas, you can contact her at

Author Profile Photo

Faith Rodriquez

Faith Rodriquez is a digital content director who joined in 2022.

If you any story ideas then you can contact her at:


KYMA KECY is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content