Arizona Supreme Court rules state must adhere to century-old law banning nearly all abortions

Credit: Chic Bee

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled Tuesday the state must adhere to a 160-year-old law barring all abortions except in cases when “it is necessary to save” a pregnant person’s life – a significant ruling that will make a Civil War-era abortion law enforceable in the state.

The law can be traced to as early as 1864 – before Arizona became a state – and was codified in 1901. It carries a prison sentence of two to five years for abortion providers – and it puts Arizona among the states with the strictest abortion laws in the country, alongside Texas, Alabama and Mississippi, where bans exist with almost no exceptions.

The state Supreme Court has delayed enforcement of the law for 14 days to give the plaintiffs an opportunity to pursue other challenges in a lower court if they wish to do so, including whether the law is constitutional.