UNITED STATES: After a trial court ruled last month to uphold the prohibition, an appeals panel on Friday temporarily halted Arizona from enforcing a 1901 law that outlawed almost all abortions in the state.
The Pima County Superior Court’s decision to lift the injunction on the ban on September 23 was granted an emergency stay by the Arizona Court of Appeals upon request from Planned Parenthood. The abortion rights organisation “demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success” in its challenge of that ruling, according to the appeals court.
Presiding Judge Peter Eckerstrom wrote, “The court further concludes the balance of hardships weigh strongly in favour of granting the stay, given the acute need of healthcare providers, prosecuting agencies, and the public for legal clarity as to the application of our criminal laws.”
About half of the 50 U.S. states are expected to seek to restrict abortions or have already done so in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision to reverse the constitutional right to abortion and reverse the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which has sparked a wave of litigation across the nation.
Judge Kellie Johnson of the Pima County Superior Court had allowed the Republican Attorney General of Arizona’s motion to lift the injunction that had prevented the implementation of Arizona’s pre-statehood ban.
In a statement, Planned Parenthood said the appeals court’s ruling “brings temporary reprieve to Arizonans” and would enable the organisation to resume providing abortion care services while the legal process is ongoing.
Before deciding what to do next, the office of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said it will “carefully review” the court’s decision from Friday.
The Democratic Party hailed Friday’s decision as a “temporary reprieve” and praised it.
The Republican governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, was urged by Democrats in the state legislature to summon a special session to abolish the entire ban.
Since Roe was overturned and numerous states started implementing abortion prohibitions, Democrats have been keen to portray Republicans as being radical on the abortion issue.