". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Arizona Supreme Court Revives Law Protecting the Unborn

April 9, 2024

On Tuesday, the Arizona Supreme Court put back in place a 160-year-old ban on abortion, The Wall Street Journal reported. “Abortion in the state has been allowed through 15 weeks of pregnancy under a law that the GOP-controlled Arizona Legislature passed in 2022, shortly before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Abortion opponents and some Republican lawmakers argued that the recent law didn’t override one dating back to 1864 — before Arizona was a state — that banned abortion throughout pregnancy except in lifesaving situations.”

The ruling “agreed that the 19th century law still takes precedence,” WSJ added, but the “court delayed implementation of the ban for at least two weeks to allow for additional legal arguments.” In comments to The Washington Stand, Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, clarified, “The focus for [this decision] is that the Arizona Supreme Court did what justices are supposed to do: they upheld the rule of law. They did not make policy.”

She continued, “Arizona law clearly stated that if Roe v. Wade was overturned, our pre-Roe law would go back into effect. So, today’s decision was a statutory construction. It was not a constitutional one, and it was not a policy decision. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, so it’s very important to emphasize that this … is how we want judges to rule.”

Herrod went on to share how a proposed amendment called the Arizona Right to Abortion Initiative could nullify the court decision. “That amendment does not reflect Arizona values or where Arizonans are on the issue of abortion,” she contended. The amendment would “bring in unrestricted and unregulated abortion,” she emphasized. “It would overturn most — if not all — of Arizona’s pro-life laws. It would not require doctors to be part of the woman’s decision, examination, or the procedure itself. Moms and dads would have no role in the abortion of their minor daughters deciding whether or not to have an abortion. It would usher in taxpayer funding of abortion.”

But given the dramatic effects of such a potential amendment, Herrod predicted, “When Arizonans read and see what the proposed abortion access amendment really is about, I’m confident Arizona voters will turn it down.”

In light of the decision by the Arizona Supreme Court, Mary Szoch, director of the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council, shared with TWS, “In a huge win for women and their unborn children, the Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that the law on the books protecting unborn babies from the moment of conception will go into effect. Praise God!”

She added, “Acknowledging what an abortion is, the Arizona law states that an abortionist who kills an unborn child can be punished with two to five years in prison. In recognition of the fact that the intent of an abortion is to kill the child, not to save the mother, actions taken to save a mother’s life that sadly result in the death of the unborn child will not be punishable.”

Szoch concluded, “This ruling is on hold for 14 days, but we should all pray it goes into effect. With this decision, the importance of the upcoming election cannot be overstated. Unborn babies lives will be on the ballot. Pro-lifers must turn out to vote.”

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.