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Arizona abortions could end with Supreme Court decision looming

PHOENIX (AP) — Abortions in Arizona could become illegal overnight if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns its landmark 1973 decision that said a woman has a constitutional right to end her pregnancy without government interference.

A state law that predates the Roe v. Wade decision and targets providers could be enforced if the high court overturns Roe. The high court on Wednesday considered a case challenging a new Mississippi law that bans abortion at 15 weeks.

The high court’s new conservative majority signaled it would allow states to ban abortion much earlier in pregnancy and may even overturn the nationwide right under Roe.

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, an abortion opponent, said Wednesday he hopes the high court would do just that even if it means overturning decades of precedent.

“The court needs to do its job. The court needs to follow the Constitution,” Ducey said. “And when the court discovers that a mistake has been made in the past, the court has the right to correct it.”

Arizona is one of 26 states, all led by Republicans, that are either certain or likely to ban all abortions if Roe is overturned, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which advocates for reproductive rights.

Abortion rights advocates worry that Arizona women will immediately lose the right to seek abortion care if Roe is overturned because of the pre-1973 law.

The Arizona law says anyone who helps a woman obtain an abortion-inducing drug or performs or aids in a surgical abortion can be sentenced to two to five years in prison. The only exception is if an abortion is required to save the woman’s life.

The law dates to at least the 1901 territorial penal code, 11 years before Arizona became a state, according the the Legislative Council, which researches and drafts legislation for the Legislature.

AP News

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Cole Johnson

Cole grew up in a small town of just over 3,000 people called Moravia, NY—home of President Millard Fillmore and Fillmore Glen State Park.

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