Follow Us

Judge rules Arizona’s ban on abortions can be enforced, setting up legal showdown before election

Ruling means clinics in Arizona will have to stop providing abortions or face criminal charges absent an appeal.

Published: September 23, 2022 8:04pm

Updated: September 23, 2022 8:13pm

An Arizona judge ruled Friday that a century-old law banning most abortions in the key battleground state can be enforced, setting up a legal showdown in the shadows of the midterm elections. 

Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson‘s ruling means clinics in Arizona will have to stop providing abortions or face  criminal charges and residents will have to travel to other states to get the procedure. 

An appeal is expected.

Johnson lifted an injunction blocking the 1901 abortion ban that had been in place since the 1970s when the Rowe v. Wade decision legalized abortion nationwide.

The U.S.  Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe this summer made lifting the injunction a legal requirement, the judge said. 

“The court finds that because the legal basis for the judgment entered in 1973 has now been overruled, it must vacate the judgment in its entirety," Johnson wrote.

Arizona Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich was quick to celebrate the ruling. "We applaud the court for upholding the will of the legislature and providing clarity and uniformity on this important issue. I have and will continue to protect the most vulnerable Arizonans," he wrote on Twitter.

Democratic Arizona gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs lamented the judge's decision and framed her campaign as one to restore reproductive rights. "Like many Arizonans, I'm mourning today's decision out of Pima County upholding the 1901 abortion ban," she wrote in a statement. "This outcome is the product of a decades-long attack on reproductive freedom, and we now must turn our anger into motivation to win in November & restore our fundamental rights."

The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook


Just the News Spotlight

Support Just the News